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Palestine’s empty breadbasket

The Jordan Valley, once considered Palestine’s most fertile area, has been taken over by Israeli settlers who have barred Palestinians from using the land.
Israeli soldiers stand guard as a Palestinian farmer sits on the ground after planting olive trees during a protest against what Palestinians say is land confiscation for Jewish settlements in the Jordan Valley, a hotly contested part of the occupied West Bank April 8, 2014. REUTERS/Abed Omar Qusini (WEST BANK - Tags: POLITICS AGRICULTURE MILITARY) - RTR3KEMR
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Israeli occupation forces prevented dozens of Palestinian farmers last Dec. 9 from cultivating tens of thousands of acres of their land in Khirbet Ain al-Sakut, in the northern Jordan Valley in the West Bank. Israel declared the region a closed military zone, as it has with several other regions in the Jordan Valley, such as the Wadi al-Maleh village. 

The governor of the Tubas governorate in the northeastern West Bank, Rabih al-Khandakji, told Al-Monitor: “The region of al-Sakut has been classified as a closed military zone and a mine zone since its occupation in 1967. Yet, after the mines were removed, farmers tried to cultivate the land, since they have documents confirming they own it. However, the settlers prevented them from doing this. Later, the Israeli army intervened and declared it a closed military zone for Palestinians, but it is still open to settlers to farm and steal its waters.”

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