By: Daniel Breslau
Week 2,020 of occupation
9 February 2006 - 15 February 2006
The invisible wall
The Jordan valley has been effectively cut off from the rest of the West Bank. Palestinian travel into and out of the area, which makes up between one quarter and one third of the entire West Bank, is prohibited, except for residents of the area and a small number of workers who have received permits. It did not require the construction of a wall to separate Northern West Bank villages from their land, their neighbors, and water sources, that happen to be located in the valley.
Israel`s security justification for closing off the valley is not plausible, since it is part of systematic efforts over the entire occupation period to cleanse the area of its Palestinian residents and rightful owners, to steal land and water resources, and to prevent the development of Palestinian communities or agriculture in the valley.
More casualties of occupation
On Monday, 13 February, an Israeli soldier shot and killed a Palestinian woman as she was grazing sheep about 250 meters from the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel. The soldier fired from his jeep on the border. The victim was identified as Naifa Mohammed Khamis Abu Musa`ed, 36. IDF sources said soldiers spotted "movement of suspicious figures" near the border fence. Soldiers killed a 10-year-old girl under similar circumstances two weeks earlier.
On Wednesday morning, 15 February, a 15-year-old mentally-disabled Palestinian was shot and killed in Qabatya, near Jenin. Mujahid Samadi was carrying a toy gun around his neck when soldiers fired at him, killing him instantly. Though Israel calls these events accidents, they are the predictable result of a deliberate policy of "shoot first, ask questions later" in upholding the continuing occupation.
Sanctions against the occupied
Dov Weisglass, an advisor to the incapacitated Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who is still on the Israeli government payroll, described Israel`s response to the electoral victory of the Hamas movement: "The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet but not make them die of hunger." This was no joke, but a reflection of what Israel sees as its right to impose collective punishment on the entire Palestinian population for resisting occupation.
Israel is withholding 55 million US$ of tax revenues that it has collected, which belong to the Palestinian Authority. The US House of Representatives has also voted to withhold all direct aid to the Palestinian Authority until Hamas revokes its call for the destruction of Israel. It thus places sanctions on the occupied while funding the occupier and the occupation government, which has declared its plan to permanently annex roughly one third of the West Bank and effectively prevent a viable independent Palestinian state from ever coming into existence.
Sources: Ha`aretz, IMEMC, Palestine Centre for Human Rights, Guardian.