V. Northern Jordan Valley
Human Rights Watch documented instances of discrimination against a number of Palestinian communities in the northern Jordan Valley, a large area covering 30 percent of the West Bank along its eastern border. The Jordan Valley was one of the first areas that Israel designated for settlement after it captured the West Bank in the 1967 Middle East War. Since then, between 6,000 and 9,400 Jewish settlers have established themselves in area. Approximately 56,000 Palestinians live in the valley.
The Jordan Valley comprises almost half of Area C. Areas under settler control—including the built-up areas of settlements, the municipal boundaries of individual settlements and larger areas under the control of the regional council of settlements— amount to 860,000 dunams (86,000 hectares), almost 50 percent of the Jordan Valley. Thus, roughly 9,000 Jewish settlers control 50 percent of the area, while some 60,000 Palestinians have access to less than 10 percent of the area.
The Settlement Division of the Jewish Agency, the IDF, and “various agricultural movements” settled the valley pursuant to a plan devised by Yigal Alon, Minister of Absorption and Deputy Prime Minster from 1967 to 1969. The “Alon Plan” was intended, first, “to set a secure border along the Jordan River and to generate strategic control along the Jordan Valley [and second] … to deal with the new situation in which there was a large Arab population in Samaria under Israel’s control.”  The 1995 Oslo Accords, which were supposed to be replaced by a final status agreement in 1999, designated 90 percent of the Jordan Valley as Area C, under complete Israeli military and civil control; the accords did not give Israel any rights to own land in the area.
The majority of early Jordan Valley settlers were secular Jews; many of the settlements were founded in the late 1960s and early 1970s by “Nahal” soldiers as part of a plan to secure what was seen as a vulnerable area, and later converted to civilian settlements focused on agricultural production (see “Background”). An increasing number of national-religious Jews have moved there, along with a small number of settlers displaced from the Gush Katif settlements in Gaza that Israel evacuated in 2005.
Settlers in the Jordan Valley receive significant state support. For example, on December 14, 2009, the Israeli cabinet approved adding Jordan Valley settlements to a list of “national priority” communities that would receive, on average, NIS 1,000 (US$260) per person in subsidies for education, employment and culture.
In contrast, Israeli policies, including arbitrary demolition of homes in areas declared to be “closed military zones” and denial of permits for virtually any building of homes or infrastructure like water pipes or electrical lines, have made it difficult for Palestinian residents to remain in the area. Israeli authorities have prohibited Palestinians from having any access to the Jordan River; drilled wells to service settlements that dried up Palestinians’ traditional water sources; cut Palestinian water lines; confiscated Palestinian water tankers, tractors, sheep, and other property; demolished Palestinian homes and declared lands off limits as “military zones”; and established permit regimes that effectively prohibit Palestinians whose place of residence is registered as outside the Jordan Valley from moving there.
Stated Israeli policy is to extend military control over the area, which lies close to the Jordanian border, in order to prevent arms smuggling and the possibility of military attack. In March 2010, Prime Minister Netanyahu told the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee of Israel’s Knesset, or parliament, that Israel would not withdraw from the Jordan Valley under any peace agreement with Palestinians, according to the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz. Generally, Israeli military officials also assert that roadblocks and restrictions on Palestinian freedom of movement in the West Bank are required to protect settler security, including preventing attacks by Palestinians or to prevent them from fleeing after such attacks. During the second Palestinian intifada, Palestinians carried out a number of fatal attacks against settlers in the valley; in 2009, Palestinian gunmen killed two Israeli policemen in the Jordan Valley.
These security concerns do not justify Israel’s discriminatory policies in the Jordan Valley, which in some cases have made it impossible for Palestinian residents to continue living there while encouraging Jewish Israelis to move to the area. Israeli concerns that Palestinians will attack settlers do not explain or justify restrictions on Palestinians’ ability to travel or move to the Jordan Valley, to drill wells or connect to the water network, to construct or repair homes or animal pens, or numerous other activities. Israel’s demolition of homes and eviction of persons on the basis that they live in “closed military zones” that were declared in vast areas long after Palestinians had established communities there are unjustifiable because there is no evidence that the declaration of the military zones, their large areas, or their outlines are militarily necessary. A most recent practice appears to be declaring “training” or “firing zones” in areas with Bedouin communities, and the subsequent demolition of structures and eviction of residents, when alternative, uninhabited areas are readily available for military training. A more general Israeli concern, which is that it must maintain a military presence in the Jordan Valley in order to prevent the infiltration of weapons and armed groups intent on attacking Israeli targets, would not justify arbitrary and discriminatory demolitions of homes, water cisterns, animal pens and other structures, or any effort to clear the area of Palestinian civilians, because the laws of war allow such destruction and forcible transfer only for purposes of urgent military necessity.
The effects of Israeli policy in the Jordan Valley—including demolitions of homes, animal pens, and even entire communities, such as al-Farisiye (discussed below)—have been to force some Palestinians to move permanently elsewhere (primarily to cities and towns classified as Areas A and B) without compensation. Overall figures are not available, but in addition to the case studies in this report, numerous Israeli media articles and NGO reports suggest that residents of many Palestinian communities have been indirectly forcibly transferred in this way.
A June 2009 survey of 472 Palestinian households in Area C in the Jordan Valley by Save the Children UK found that 31 percent of households had been temporarily or permanently displaced since the outbreak of the second intifada in 2000 due to Israeli home demolitions, military orders, and other restrictions.
For example, on January 10, 2010, demolitions of “illegal” buildings in Khirbet Tana, a village east of Nablus, left 100 residents homeless, including 34 children. As of late June, only 27 of the village’s 56 families remained, and only 17 of the 40 children who used to attend the primary school were still enrolled. In another case, Haaretz reported that the Civil Administration had demolished numerous “illegal” homes on the outskirts of Palestinian townsand villages—including Tubas, Beit Furik, Beit Dajan and Tamun—over the past 15 years, and that around 180 families, or up to 1,000 people or more, had left the town of Jiftlik, the largestPalestinian community in Area C, in the past several years because of the de facto ban on any new Palestinian construction there. In December 2006, the Israeli High Court of Justice rejected the appeal of several families facing demolition orders in the Bedouin community of Al Hadidiye on the grounds that they posed a security risk to the neighboring settlement of Ro’i; as of July 2009, according to the Israeli NGO Machsom (Checkpoint) Watch, 13 or 14 families had sold their livestock, abandoned their traditional herding livelihoods and moved to the nearby village of Atuf and the town of Tamun.
If Israel is imposing harsh living conditions on Palestinians in order to render the valley easier to control in the event of a theoretically possible future invasion or uprising, such a policy would violate Israel’s obligations as the occupying power not to forcibly transfer the local population except in cases of urgent and actual military necessity. The destruction of civilian property to improve the military position of an attacker in potential future conflicts would also violate international humanitarian law. While a civilian object that provides a concrete and perceptible military advantage could be justifiably destroyed, a civilian object does not become a target because its destruction would offer the attacker an advantage in a hypothetical future attack, or because of its potential future use as a military objective by the enemy which could not meet the “urgent and actual” necessity test. According to the website of the settler-run Jordan Valley Regional Council, there are 21 Jewish settlements in the valley “established on an area of 860,000 dunams [86,000 hectares].”
The first community to be established was Mechola (January 1968) as the community connecting the Jordan Valley to the Bet Shean Valley. The pioneers who settled in Mechola worked to develop a viable agricultural economy combined with military activity, patrols, and guard duty.
Agriculture is the leading economic sector for Jewish settlers in the valley, according to the settlement website, with 33,000 dunams (3,300 hectares) of cultivated land producing 500 million shekels (US$130 million) in annual revenue. Approximately 80 percent of dates, 70 percent of grapes, as well as “most” of the peppers, herbs and spices grown in Jordan Valley settlements are exported and “meet the stringent standards of the export agencies.” Jordan Valley settlements also grow cherry tomatoes, eggplants, flowers, citrus fruits, olives, and pomegranates, and raise chickens, turkeys, dairy cows, goats and sheep.
The valley’s hot climate and the salinity of the soil “require sluicing the soil and using large amounts of irrigation,” according to the settlement council. The water comes primarily from “the wells of the Mekorot Company which are inadequate during the demanding [summer] season,” floodwater “that flows from the Nablus region to the Tirza reservoir,” water from the Jordan River, and “recycled sewage water from East Jerusalem from the Kidron stream.”The American branch of Hadassah, a Jewish women’s charity, “has pledged $3 million toward funding the Tirza reservoir in the Jordan Valley” according to various statements by the group, which is cooperating on the project with the Jewish National Fund (JNF).
Israel has officially recognized several settlements located in the northern Jordan Valley. Mechola, founded by scouts from the Bnei Akiva youth movement in 1967 and formally established as a civilian settlement in 1969, is a religious moshav (agricultural) settlement; it had 357 residents as of 2007, according to Peace Now statistics. Human Rights Watch visited the settlement and interviewed a member of the settlement’s administration, who said he had been living there for 40 years. He explained most settlement residents worked in cities inside Israel, including Beit She’an (to the north) and Tel Aviv (to the west). According to the settler, settlers who want to build homes in Mechola “only pay construction costs. There’s no need to certify the land because all the permits are there [already]. It costs around NIS 300,000 [US$80,000].” Another settler said, “we have no water problem here” because the settlement had access to water from the mountain aquifer underlying the West Bank. Among the settlement’s amenities is a swimming pool, which Human Rights Watch observed during a visit to the settlement.
Settlers said that the settlement had minimal security problems. “It’s been quiet for years, except for an incident inside the settlement 32 years ago and another one on the road 15 years ago and 7 years ago,” one settler said. “But the two villages nearby [including Bardala] are quiet,” he added, and although he claimed the Bedouins nearby were criminals (“They steal, like they do all over the country”), they were not a security threat to the settlements.
Human Rights Watch observed a modern medical clinic in the settlement, as well as other public buildings, indicating significant levels of support provided with governmental approval. A placard on Mechola’s “friendship house” identified it as being built with funds donated by an American NGO, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. Although the UN and various NGOs provide emergency services to local Palestinian residents, including after incidents when their homes have been demolished, this support cannot take the form of permanent staffed structures due to the Civil Administration’s refusal to provide building permits.
Shadmot Mechola, a nearby settlement (established 1979), is primarily agricultural, but also runs a guesthouse for tourists. Its website shows a swimming pool, and offers tourists:
…breathtaking tours to Amaryllis bulbs hot houses which are harvested, packed and shipped to Europe and USA and potted in time to bloom during the winter holiday season. Short tours of our “Hi-tec” dairy farm, vineyards and orchards. Tours of farms in the Jordan Valley who specialize in crops of vegetables, fruits, flowers and spices for export in hot dry climate.
Over-extraction of water by Israel has caused a drop in the water-table in the West Bank, which contributed to a decrease in the amount of water Palestinians extracted from 1999 to 2007, with the main shortfall in the North East Aquifer, which partly underlies the northern Jordan Valley. The supply shortfall is made up by Mekorot, “increasing Palestinian dependency on Israeli water supply.”
To provide water for the agricultural settlements of Mechola and Shadmot Mechola, Israeli authorities from the late 1960s drilled wells and implemented a pumping system that contributed to serious water shortages for Palestinian residents of the nearby villages of Bardala, Ein al Beyda and others. According to a 2009 World Bank report,
Palestinian wells constructed in the area before 1967 for domestic and agricultural purposes ranged from 30 to 65 metres deep. Israel constructed two deep wells (Bardala 1 in 1968 and Bardala 2 in 1979) a few hundred metres from the Palestinian wells. The water level in the Palestinian wells dropped at the rate of 2 metres a year, and salinity increased. Now the Palestinian wells are dry, as are most of the local springs used by Palestinian consumers for domestic and agricultural purposes.
Palestinian residents of Bardala told Human Rights Watch that Maskiyot settlement, established in 1986, and Givat Sal'it, an outpost established in early 2002 approximately 300 meters from Mechola, also receive water from wells drilled around Bardala. The government of Israel sought approval for 22 new housing units in Maskiyot in August 2008. According to Peace Now, Givat Sal’it covers four hectares, of which 0.6 hectares or 15 percent is private Palestinian land.
According to the World Bank, “Israeli authorities [have] control over the allocation and management of West Bank water resources. Israeli territorial jurisdiction in Area C (60% of the West Bank) consolidates this control, which makes integrated planning and management of water resources virtually impossible for the PA.” Through a series of military orders, Israel took complete control over the West Bank’s water resources after occupying the territory in 1967; these orders transferred authority over West Bank water resources to the IDF military commander of the area (Military Order No. 92 of August 15, 1967), prohibited unlicensed construction of water infrastructure (Order No. 158 of November 19, 1967), invalidated prior water settlements, and transferred regulatory jurisdiction over water to the military commander (Order No. 291 of December 19, 1968). Israel also prohibited Palestinian access to the Jordan River in 1967, abrogating these water rights; no Jordan River water is currently extracted for Palestinian benefit, the Bank reported. In 1982, Mekorot, Israel’s national water company, took control of water resources development and management throughout the West Bank.
Water projects in the West Bank must be approved by a joint Israeli-PA water commission, set up under the Oslo agreements, which has approved all but one Israeli-proposed project, but only half those (by dollar value) proposed to help Palestinians. The World Bank reported in 2009 that “106 water projects and 12 large scale wastewater projects are awaiting JWC approval, some of them since 1999,” which would have benefited nearly 1.9 million Palestinians in total. Human Rights Watch is not aware that Israeli authorities have explained this overall discrepancy; the water commission typically gives technical reasons for rejecting individual projects.
In addition to approval by the joint water commission, Palestinian water projects in Area C— including most of the Jordan Valley—must be approved by the Israeli Civil Administration. According to the bank report, the formal rules applied by the Civil Administration are in some ways similar to those it applies to projects inside Israel, but in the West Bank are applied based on outdated regional plans and without Palestinian participation. Finally, all water projects in Area C must also be permitted by the Israeli military, but the World Bank reported that the IDF sees such water infrastructure for Palestinians “as a security risk” to settlements. Delays of two to three years are normal before the Civil Administration approves Palestinian projects, if at all; in one case the Civil Administration suggested that a wastewater treatment plant intended for Palestinians should also service a nearby settlement.
In general, Palestinians in the West Bank receive on average an estimated 50 liters of water per capita daily, an amount that is only one quarter of Israeli water use (a figure that includes settlers). Palestinian extraction of water has actually fallen to levels below those agreed between Israel and the Palestinian side in 1995, due to declining water-tables, and Israeli restrictions on constructing and repairing water infrastructure, among other factors, even as the Palestinian population has rapidly increased by as much as 50 percent.
Jewish settlements in the northern Jordan Valley and elsewhere in the West Bank face no such additional hurdles, and water projects intended to benefit settlements are much more likely to be approved by the water commission. Jewish settlements are serviced by wells in the West Bank, which are largely in the Jordan Valley, and by the Israeli national water network, according to the World Bank. In total, all Israeli settlements consume about 75 million cubic meters (MCM) of water, ofwhich 44 MCM are produced from about 40 wells controlled by Israel or settlers within the WestBank.  Israeli wells in the Jordan Valley produce around 40 MCM annually. These wells form a closed system that does not feed back into the national water network servicing Israel, but is used almost exclusively by the roughly 9,000 settlers operating agricultural settlements in the valley, according to a Canadian hydrologist working as a consultant with the PA. Jordan Valley settlers thus use roughly one quarter of the water supply of the entire Palestinian population of the West Bank.
In contrast, Palestinian residents of the Jordan Valley spend up to 17 percent of their income to receive water from tankers, and have access to 20 liters per day or less, while the World Health Organization recognizes 100 liters per person per day as the recommended minimum. According to the Bank, “With water usage as low 10 lpcd [liters per capita per day] in some areas, some communities of the West Bank, notably in Area C, face water access comparable to that of refugee camps in Congo or Sudan.”
The World Bank estimated that the lack of adequate water for irrigation had cost the Palestinian agricultural sector 60,000 dunams (6000 hectares) of uncultivated farmland and 12,500 jobs in the Jordan Valley.
Bardala is a small farming village of approximately 2,000 residents in the northern Jordan Valley. One resident, Fathi el-Khodeirat, 43,told Human Rights Watch that he was born in Bardala, where his family had built a permanent home in the 1920s. According to Khodeirat, Bardala and other villages nearby including Ein al Beyda, Kardala, al Farsiya, and others traditionally depended on water from local springs. “We had a spring on our farm here, and water from Ein al Iraq, the main spring for the village, also ran across our land,” Khodeirat said. “We used to grow seven kinds of apples and varieties of lemon, orange, and figs. Then the Israelis dug a new well, and it dried up.”
Mustafa Samour has worked distributing water to Bardala village residents for agricultural use since 1986, he told Human Rights Watch. According to Samour, the Bardala village council dug a well that started pumping water at a rate of 240 cubic meters per hour shortly before Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967. In 1975, he said, “the Israelis dug a well 200 meters away from ours. Their well was deeper and pumped out 1000 cubic metersper hour, and our well quickly dried up.” Samour said that Bardala came to an agreement with Mekorot, the Israeli water company in charge of the new well, to purchase the same amount of water they had previously pumped for themselves. Israeli authorities subsequently dug two other wells. According to B’Tselem, Israeli and Palestinian researchers concur that the Israeli drilling was responsible for the desiccation of the Palestinian wells around Bardala.
In addition to Mechola and Shadmot Mechola, the settlements of Salit, Maskiyot, and Rotem, as well as several military camps near El Maleh, take water from the wells Israel dug outside Bardala.
Israel’s assumption of control of Bardala’s water resources is the root of the villagers’ water problems, Bardala residents told Human Rights Watch. Villagers said that since the Mekorot wells and pumps began operation, they suffered serious shortages of water for drinking and domestic use in summer months because they had no control over the operation of the Israeli water wells—their only source of water. Human Rights Watch observed two large, cylindrical concrete water tanks on hills overlooking Mechola. Samour and Khodeirat said that these tanks were filled by the Israeli water wells that also provide water to Bardala, but that the wells automatically stopped pumping water when the settlements tanks were full. “When the settlements have enough water, then the main pump engine at the well cuts off,” Samour said. “That means no water flows through our pipes, either. It’s an automatic shutoff system. Our water supply all depends on the amount of water the settlements use. We don’t get any water for 5, 10, or 24 hours, sometimes even days.”
The problem of irregular and uncontrolled access to water is compounded by the inadequate volume of water that Bardala receives during the hours the well pump is operating, Samour said. “Unlike in the settlements, our water tank is never full, because even when the water is flowing into it, we are taking water out of it at a faster rate than the water is pumped in,” he said. “We never have any reserve water, so we need to have a constant flow. But the flow is cut off every time the settlers’ wells are full.”
The water tended to shut down for longer periods in summer when villagers were most in need of a constant water source, Samour said. Fathi el Khodeirat had observed that the settlements’ agricultural areas appeared less busy at this time, prompting him to speculate that, since a large percentage of the settlers’ water use was agricultural, they tended to use less water in summer months because their primary agricultural season was in the winter months, since their production was geared for export to foreign markets in colder climates.
In summer the settlements do less planting and use less water than in winter, because they grow their crops for export. That means the pumps are not working, so we don’t get water. Some days for two or three days at a time, there is no water.
According to Samour, the volume of water per hour that flowed to Bardala was agreed upon by the PA and Mekorot, the Israeli water company that controlled the wells. Bardala could increase the flow of water beyond that amount by paying Mekorot at a rate many times the cost of its agreed-upon usage, which was inadequate to meet the village’s needs. The village could not afford to pay the cost of the more expensive rate, he said.
Human Rights Watch viewed a Mekorot water bill provided by the Israeli Civil Administration to the Palestinian Water Authority, which corroborates aspects of Samour’s description of the situation. In February 2010, Mekorot provided water to Bardala at a subsidized rate of NIS 0.457 per cubic meter (US $0.12), while the rate it charged to other Palestinian communities and to settlements was NIS 2.468 (US $0.65). According to Michael Talhami, a hydrologist working as a consultant with the PA, the amount of water Mekorot provides to the PA is determined by the Israeli Civil Administration, including the amounts supplied to specific communities such as Bardala; Palestinian communities cannot simply purchase as much water as they want, regardless of the price they offered. In total, Israel provides the PA with 48 MCM per year, which makes up for part of the shortfall in Palestinian production.
No other sources of water, such as reservoirs to store rainwater, are available. In at least one case, Israeli-imposed building restrictions prevented villagers from building a proposed water tank. El Khodeirat told Human Rights Watch,
I was the head of the regional council here for 11 years. Despite my requests, for all those years I got no permission to build a water reservoir. The proper place to situate it is 100 meters from the last house in Bardala, but to the Israelis, it’s in Area C.
The Israeli authorities would demolish any structures built in Area C without prior permits, but typically refused or delayed giving such permits, Khodeirat said. In general, the World Bank reported that the PA has been unable to implement a large number of the projects approved by the joint Israeli-PA water committee due to delays by the Civil Administration in approving them. For example, a proposed 15 centimeter-diameter pipeline for agricultural irrigation in Bardala and Ein al Beida had a planned start date of April 2008 but was pending Civil Administration approval for Area C as of April 2009, and to the knowledge of Human Rights Watch has not yet been implemented. Such delays and denials of projects approved by the joint Israeli-PA water committee further reduce the availability of water resources to Palestinians, in addition to the fact that, as noted, the water committee has approved only half the projects submitted to it that are intended for Palestinian beneficiaries; for example, the water committee approved the rehabilitation of only 7 of 25 proposed agricultural wells for Palestinian villages in the Jordan Valley in March 2007.
Villagers in Bardala hold both Israel and the PA responsible for the fact that in 2007, Mekorot reduced the overall amount of water available to villagers by roughly 50 percent. In 1995, with the formation of the PA, villagers stopped paying Mekorot themselves, because Israel began to deduct the cost of Palestinians’ use of water provided by Mekorot from the tax revenues that Israel collected on behalf of the PA. Samour and Khodeirat, interviewed separately, said that the PA now insists that villagers pay for their water usage, presumably to offset these tax-revenue deductions, but that the villagers were not able to do so. “The Authority says Bardala owes it between 16 and 17 million shekels for using the water over the years,” Samour said. “There is no possibility that we can pay that.”In 2007, Samour said, the volume of water available to the village was reduced dramatically, to roughly 130 cubic meters per hour. Samour and Khodeirat speculate that the water was reduced because the PA was unable to pay the villagers’ water costs at the former rate of usage.
The reduced volume of water has forced villagers to reduce the amount of land under cultivation. “Back when we got 240 cubic meters of water an hour, it was enough to irrigate each plot of land, which for the village in total amounted to around 6000 dunams [600 hectares],” Samour said. “But now, we are getting only half that amount, and we can only irrigate half the amount of land.” Samour said that from April to December, when farmers depend exclusively on irrigation water, he can cultivate ten dunams or one hectare of land. “Two years ago, when we still got enough water, I could grow vegetables on 30 dunams [3 hectares] during the hot months.”
Hassan Mhammed Ahmed, 51, a vegetable farmer in Bardala, said hisfamily used to irrigate 30 dunams of land, but now could only irrigate around eight. “Last year I tried to farm 10 dunams of another man’s land that I rented, but I wound up 14,000 shekels [US $3700] in debt because I couldn’t get enough water to make it work. I’m being taken to court over the debt,” he said.
Ahmed told Human Rights Watch the IDF periodically blocked—especially at night–the villagers’ only access to the main north-south highway (No. 90) in the Jordan Valley, which leads south past Mechola and Shadmot Mechola settlements towards Jericho. Israeli soldiers at checkpoints typically require Palestinian farmers to unload and re-load produce onto trucks en route to markets in Tubas, Jenin and Nablus. Human Rights Watch did not attempt to document any Palestinian agricultural products from the northern Jordan Valley being exported abroad. Agricultural and other products produced in settlements are shipped directly from the settlement to locations inside Israel and do not need to be unloaded at checkpoints or trans-shipped from one truck to another when leaving the West Bank.
Another checkpoint—which Palestinians call Taysir—sits on the road (No. 5799) leading west to the larger village of Tubas. “We can go past it to Tubas," Ahmed said, "but if you want to come from Tubas to here, and you’re not registered as having your address in Bardala, you may have problems.” From May 2005 until April 28, 2007, Israel barred all Palestinians without ID cards identifying them as Jordan Valley residents from crossing checkpoints into the valley, including Tayasir. Palestinians who owned land in the Jordan Valley, were married to residents, or had other ties but did not reside there were not permitted access. Currently, Khodeirat said, it remains very difficult for Palestinians to change their registered addresses to the Jordan Valley, and that Israeli authorities will not allow people to move to the area without an address there, although he acknowledged that the situation had improved in recent years, with IDF checkpoints imposing fewer restrictions on Palestinian movement into the valley.
In contrast, Jewish citizens of Israel may take up residence in the Jordan Valley regardless of their prior address.
Israel controls the population registration of the West Bank and Gaza, and is responsible for difficulties Palestinians encounter when trying to change their address. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Israel continues to restrict access to the Jordan Valley for non-residents, including land and property owners and laborers, who must obtain a permit from Israeli authorities to enter the area in private vehicles.
International human rights law permits restrictions on freedom of movement for security reasons, but the restrictions must have a clear legal basis, be limited to what is necessary, not be discriminatory and be proportionate to the threat. While Israeli policies restricting Palestinian freedom of movement into the Jordan Valley may make it easier to police and secure the area for settlers, such a blanket imposition of travel restrictions on all Palestinians would be discriminatory, not tailored to any specific threat, and would therefore disproportionately harm Palestinians.
Villagers told Human Rights Watch that settlements had taken over lands they owned or used. Khodeirat said that Israeli authorities requisitioned the soccer field of the village school in Ein al Beyda for agricultural use by the settlement of Mechola; he helped residents remove the goals.
Several kilometers to the south of Bardala along Road 90, the main north-south highway in the Jordan Valley, Human Rights Watch visited Fa’iq Sbeih, 50, a farmer who said that Israeli authorities had cut water pipes leading to his farmland from its only water source, a spring, two years previously without prior notice. Human Rights Watch observed a fenced-in water pipe valve outside one of the former greenhouses on Sbeih’s property leading to the Rotem settlement 700 meters to the south.
My farm here was working for two years without anyone saying anything. Then I got a call one day and someone said, “the Israelis are cutting your water pipes,” near the source. I went up and saw a man from the Ministry of Environment and a guy from Mekorot [the Israeli water company], along with the IDF. They’d never warned me previously. They told me that I was stealing water. But I was renting the land from people who had tabu [private property ownership dating from the Ottoman period] on it, including for the spring. They said it was stealing. But there’s a water pipe here, right on my land, that goes to the settlement [of Rotem]. If I wanted to steal I’d take from that.
Sbeih said that he moved to the 43 dunam (4 hectare) site in 1987, after harassment by Israeli authorities led his family to abandon a 250-dunam (25 hectare) farm in the nearby Burj al Maleh area.
We used to have sheep at the farm, but the Ministry of Environment came and took them two or three times, and we had to pay to get them back, because the ministry said they were grazing in “natural areas.” They would come in with the military and take the sheep away in big trucks. When we tried to hide our sheep they would come with a helicopter to find them. Then they declared it all a military zone, and one of my brothers died by stepping on a mine. My mother and father then got depressed and gave up. So we moved.
Sbeih said he began to earn a living by buying and selling sheep. Then he took a loan from a microfinance group for the equivalent of US$45,000, found a business partner, borrowed water pipes and connected them to Ein al Shaq, and tried to set up a vegetable farm on his 43 dunams and another 40 dunams that he rented.
Sbeih’s partner in the farm project left at that point, he said. Sbeih is in debt, after he had invested more than 400,000 (US $105,000) shekels in the farm, and cannot grow vegetables that require irrigation. “Now I have only rainwater, and I have to buy water, which costs 100 shekels for a tanker of three cubic meters, because you have to pay the tractor driver a bit extra for the risk that his tractor will be confiscated for driving a water tanker on the highway,” since many tractor drivers lack the required permits.
The World Bank reported in 2009 that Palestinian farmers who are not on the water network rely on uncertain supplies of dubious quality from tankers, at four to five times the price of piped water purchased from Mekorot. In Area C, on average, “the poor who are dependent on tankers may pay out almost half their income on water.”
Sbeih can only grow chickpeas and natural herbs for most of the year. Human Rights Watch did not visit the site of the spring, but according to Amnesty International, which visited Sbeih on March 11, 2008, “settlements have free access to the water from the spring which Fa’iq Sbeih and his family are not permitted to use, and which forms a small stream that flows down towards the Israeli settlements.” When Human Rights Watch visited Sbeih, he was living in a room next to one of his former greenhouses and depended on a solar panel and a battery for electricity.
In a few cases (more are discussed below), the Israeli army has acquiesced to settler harassment of Palestinian residents in the northern Jordan Valley. According to OCHA, on April 24, 2010, settlers from Maskiyot set up a large tent a few meters from a small Palestinian community, composed of 10 families, in Ein Al Hilwa. The group of settlers in the tent varied from 10 to 50 people, moved freely around the Palestinian community and seized property including shelter materials such as tent poles and zinc boards. “Rather than removing the settlers,” OCHA reported, “the IDF District Coordination Liaison officer has suggested that the Palestinian community will have to move their tents to a different area before the settlers move their tent.” The Israeli government is seeking retroactively to authorize civilian settler construction in Maskiyot, which was originally established as a military “Nahal” settlement into which civilian settlers moved after 2000, and where 20 houses began construction in 2009 with unofficial government approval.
A few kilometers further south, off Road No. 578 (an east-west road that leads into the Jordan Valley from the west and connects to Road 90), the Israeli agricultural settlements of Ro’i and Beqa’ot lie between the Bedouin villages of Al Hadidiye and Al Ras al Ahmar. According to Peace Now statistics, Beqa’ot, established in 1972, is a secular, moshav-style (agricultural) settlement, with 175 residents as of 2007. Ro’i, a secular moshav established in 1976, had 126 residents as of 2007 (the last year for which statistics were available). Residents say that Al Ras al Ahmar and Al Hadidiye date from at least the 1950s, having been built, with the agreement of the owners, on lands that are privately owned and registered by Palestinian landowners living in the nearby towns of Tubas, Tamoun and El Jiftlik. Israeli authorities have repeatedly demolished homes in both communities. According to OCHA, in December 2006, the Israeli High Court of Justice rejected a petition against demolition orders for Al Hadidiye, because the affected buildings were in an area defined as “agricultural” rather than residential in master plans from the British Mandatory period, and posed a security threat to the nearby Ro'i settlement. All settlements in the area are built on land zoned as agricultural under the British Mandatory plans, but the Civil Administration has granted settling agencies the authority to create residential settlements in the area and has approved plans to do so, under a separate planning procedure than that available for Palestinians.
Israeli authorities demolished homes in Al Hadidiye in February and March 2008, displacing about 60 people. Some of the displaced families returned to the area later, but due to repeated evictions over the years, more than a dozen households from Al Hadidiye have been permanently displaced.
Human Rights Watch documented the Civil Administration’s destruction of 13 houses in which 18 families, or approximately 130 people, were living, as well as 19 animal pens in Al Ras al Ahmar on June 4, 2009. Years earlier, the Civil Administration had declared the area a closed military training zone, on the basis of which it later distributed eviction notices to the residents of Al Ras al Ahmar and of the nearby Bedouin community of Al Hadidiye five days before carrying out the demolitions. Residents had no opportunity to appeal the eviction orders, which are final when issued, to the military court system. According to the District Coordination Liaison Office (DCL) of the Israeli Civil Administration, the eviction orders were issued to protect the residents from ammunition or military exercises.[i] Israeli authorities had declared the area a closed military zone years ago, they said, and could have issued eviction orders at any time. The liaison office did not explain why they issued the eviction orders so long after the area was declared closed, but this practice is not uncommon, according to Israeli and Palestinian NGOs. As discussed below, the Civil Administration does not view the Palestinian residents of these military zones as legitimate “permanent residents,” and as such does not restrict the areas which it has declared to be firing or training zones so as to avoid those residents. Under the laws of occupation, Israel may forcibly displace protected persons only for reasons of imperative military necessity (see “Discrimination and Forcible Transfer in International Law”).
Israeli border police and soldiers again demolished the property of Al Ras al Ahmar residents on July 1, 2010, destroying the animal pens and other structures of 12 families (72 people), according to OCHA. Israeli soldiers had distributed written and verbal “evacuation orders” to five of the families on June 6 on the basis that they were living in a closed military zone, giving them 52 hours to remove their homes and other property or have them demolished, while the other seven families had received similar evacuation orders in June 2009. Many of the families affected had their property demolished “for the third time in as many years,” according to the Israeli volunteer organization Machsom [Checkpoint] Watch.
Residents of Al Hadidiye said they frequently received stop-work orders, which are preliminary to home demolitions by Israeli authorities. Taleb Abdel Kareem Awawdeh, for example, said he received a stop work order on March 21 against his home, which housed 25 people. “This is not the first time. I used to live near Hamra checkpoint, but in 2000 they demolished my house there,” he said. Residents said that demolitions carried out by Israeli authorities had displaced one man, Abdallah Bisharat, four times since 2006.
They knocked his house down in Al Hadidiye on July 25 or 26, 2007, after he fought the order and lost in court. Then at the beginning of August, he built it again. It was demolished again. He came back in October and remained for a year. In August 2008 they demolished four structures there that weren’t his, but he got a new order too. So he went to Al Ras al Ahmar. But his home was demolished there in July 2009. So now he’s moved up on top of a hill where he has to carry up water.
On July 19, 2010, Haaretz reported that the Israeli government had instructed the military to increase demolitions of “illegal” Palestinian construction in Area C, according to a court deposition by Zvika Cohen, the head of the IDF Civil Administration responsible for the West Bank. That same day, Israeli authorities razed 74 structures in the Jordan Valley community of Al Farisiye, not far from Ar Ras al Ahmar and Al Hadidiye, on the basis that they were located in a closed military area, after distributing eviction orders three weeks previously. Residents lost 26 homes, 22 animal shelters, as well as traditional ovens, bathrooms and other structures, and destroyed quantities of food and animal fodder; the demolition forcibly displaced at least 107 people who lost their homes and personal belongings. On August 5, Israeli bulldozers returned and demolished another 10 structures, as well as two dozen tents donated by the ICRC and PA that residents left homeless by the first demolition had erected.
Some residents of Al Farisiye were born there more than 50 years ago, and said the community was continuously inhabited, except for occasions when Israeli actions had forced them to leave; several months ago, for example, villagers had been forced to leave temporarily when the Civil Administration had cut their access to water. The Israeli military authorities, upon occupying the area in 1967, had failed to include Al Farisiye in a census that year, and in 1968 or 1969 declared the area a “closed military zone.” A Civil Administration spokesman told Human Rights Watch that the community was evicted from a firing zone, that only 10 structures were demolished, and that there were no permanent residents of Al Farisiye, since persons with property there had homes in Palestinian towns. Residents rejected these assertions, and Human Rights Watch observed many destroyed buildings during a visit to the site.
Closed military areas cover 18 to 20 percent of the West Bank, including much of the Jordan Valley. As noted, the municipal areas of settlements are themselves closed military zones to Palestinians, but not to settlers. Israel dismantled four West Bank settlements in 2005 for political reasons in the context of the “disengagement” from Gaza; however, settlements have not been destroyed or setters evicted due to other forms of military closures, such as the firing zones. Israeli authorities have not explained why only Palestinian communities have been evicted as a result of military zones.
Under Israeli military order 378 from 1970, the government may evict persons living in a "closed military zone" without any judicial or administrative procedures. Section 90(d) of the order states that "permanent residents" can remain in an area later designated as closed, and that eviction orders cannot change their status as permanent residents. The Israeli High Court of Justice has ruled that because shepherds are pastoralists, the term "permanent residents" does not apply to them. The Civil Administration has repeatedly used this reasoning to justify the eviction of pastoralists and other residents in numerous cases –including Al Farsiya, Al Ras al Ahmar, Khirbet Tana, and areas in a “firing zone” in the southern Hebron hills area of the West Bank—regardless of whether they actually inhabit the area all year round or are sedentary. Civil Administration spokespersons have stated that it was necessary to evict Palestinian residents from firing zones to protect them from the “danger” posed by live ammunition, but have not explained why the firing zones were established in populated areas.
According to the representative of Al Hadidiye, Abu Sakkar, Israeli authorities demolished homes in Al Ras al Ahmar twice, in 2005 and in 2009, while the IDF had demolished buildings in Al Hadidiye seven or eight times. Abu Sakkar said:
We’re not allowed to build anything that’s not temporary, and anything that has metal poles is considered permanent. We can’t construct a school or a health clinic. We need cement floors so the kids can sleep without having scorpions climb on them. You can see the settlements’ electricity poles from here, but our nights are dark.
Israeli water pumping stations surrounded by fences are visible from Al Hadidiye, and service the settlement of Ro’i. Al Hadidiye itself is not connected to the water network. According to Abu Sakkar, “For the last three years we’ve been submitting requests for a water line to the Israeli pump. A representative of Mekorot and of the PA water authority came here and marked it off. Mekorot gave us permission in July 2009. The goal was to provide us with 200 cubic meters of water a day. Then, one month later, the IDF said no. They said they wouldn’t open it because the same water pipe goes to Ro’i.”
Israeli-imposed restrictions on residents’ movement compound the difficulty of accessing water. An Israeli military roadblock has cut the road to the nearest available water-filling point, Ein al-Hilwe, some five kilometers away, forcing residents to travel past the “Hamra” military checkpoint to a second spring, Ein Shibli, that is 11 kilometers distant. As a result, water costs are high. One resident, a shepherd, spent NIS 6,600 (US$1730) per month on water in summer, of which over 70 percent was for transportation costs; he fell into debt as a result and was forced to sell 150 sheep.
Other residents of Al Hadidiye told Human Rights Watch they had to bring water to their families and livestock using tractor-pulled water tankers, which took up to five hours to drive from the fill site to the village. The IDF has repeatedly seized the water tankers, they said. Rayath Salamin, 27, said he sometimes brought water to Al Hadidiye in a tanker, but took a risk doing so. Although he had an ID card that listed him as a resident of the area, he drove a tractor registered in his father’s name, “so they turn me back at the checkpoint. Then I have to try to sneak around the mountain, and they catch me. It costs 4000 shekels (US $1050) in fines and costs to get back a confiscated tractor and water tanker.” Abu Sakker said that his own tractor had been confiscated for several months.
A paved road, No. 578, connects Ro’i and Beqa’ot to road networks in the Jordan Valley and the rest of the West Bank. Al Hadidiye lies to the south-east of the road; Al Ras al Ahmar lies to the north-west. Both communities are connected to road No. 578 and to one another by dirt roads. During visits to the area in July 2009 and in April 2010, Human Rights Watch observed that Al Hadidiye’s access to the main road had been partly blocked by a gate, and that Al Ras al Ahmar’s access had been completely blocked by concrete blocks and a large trench along the side of road No. 578 that prevents vehicles from accessing the road at any other point.
According to Abu Sakkar, the IDF opens the gate on the road from Al Hadidiye only three days per week, for half an hour in the morning and again in the evening. Abu Sakkar recalled several instances where settlers from Ro’i intervened with IDF soldiers and created problems for Bedouin residents trying to pass through the gate. “An old lady, Khadiji Khader Hamed Ben Yaoudi, was trying to pass through the gate one day with her son, on a tractor. The head of security at Ro’i came and waited for the military to come open the gate. I saw him talking to the soldiers, and then they took Khadiji and her son’s ID cards and took them away to the Hamra checkpoint.”
Israeli military restrictions on construction have also prevented the communities from improving a traditional route, known as al Biqea road, which leads to the town of Tubas in order to make it passable in winter. “In summer we can travel by car,” Abu Sakkar said, “but in winter the road is often impassable, and since 1987, Israel has cut it off and doesn’t even let us break rocks to put on the road to make it passable.” As noted, while Israeli authorities may restrict Palestinians’ freedom of movement for genuine security reasons, it must ensure that these restrictions are limited and proportionate to the threat. Human Rights Watch is not aware that Israeli authorities have claimed that blocking the road access of entire villages and preventing repairs that render roads impassible for months out of the year is a necessary or proportionate response to a security threat or otherwise justifiable. Israel has also failed to explain why it does not restrict the freedom of movement of settlers to address these purported security threats.
In addition to restricting freedom of movement, Israeli authorities have cut off Bedouins’ ability to graze their sheep on traditional lands. “We used to graze sheep wherever we wanted,” Abu Sakkar told Human Rights Watch. “Now there are closed military zones, firing and training areas, and off-limits natural areas. It used to be that if we took our sheep into one of these areas, they would confiscate them, and you had to pay 50 shekels per head per night in order to have them released. But now the environment ministry person will issue you a 1200 shekel (US $315) fine and say that you must pay immediately or the police will come.”
Abu Sakker said that Israeli restrictions made life so difficult for Bedouin in the area that many had been forced to leave.
I’m the representative of three communities, Al Hadidiya, Matchoul and Humsa. Before the settlements started just after the occupation, there were 300 families in these communities, somewhere between 2000 and 2500 people. By 1997 the communities were cut in half, there were only 150 families left. In October 1997 the Israeli aggression intensified. Humsa was completely emptied and the people went to live near Hamra checkpoint. In the other two communities, today there are only 45 families left, perhaps 450 people. Everybody had to sell their sheep because there was nowhere you could graze them. And if you try to bring alaf—food—for the sheep, the IDF turned you back unless the driver of the vehicle bringing the food had a Jordan Valley identity card. This started in 2001 or 2002. They don’t need to destroy our houses to force us out. There are other ways.
Another resident of the area, Abu Riyad, had recently renovated his home on a hill above the Hamra checkpoint—to the south-west of al Hadidiye—with the help of a Palestinian aid organization, the Maan Development Center. He told Human Rights Watch that he had moved to the area after the IDF displaced him and 40 other families from Humsa, 30 years ago. He later built eight houses in 2006 to accommodate his six married children on the hilltop:
The IDF knocked them all down one month later. I rebuilt, and two months after that, the IDF destroyed them again. My family is scattered all over now, because I can’t build here.
According to Abu Riyad, in mid-2009, with the help of the Ma’an Development center, he renovated a building that had been on the site before 1967, fixing the walls and installing an electricity connection. “I got a demolition order just a few days ago,” Abu Riyad said in April 2010.
 The Jordan Valley is both a geographical region extending from the Jordan River, in the East, to the first ridge of the central mountains in the West, and the name of a settlement regional council.
Save the Children, “Fact Sheet: Jordan Valley,” October 2009, p. 2. International media reports commonly use the figure of 9,000 settlers in the Jordan Valley.
 Areas of the Jordan Valley that are barred to Palestinian development also include closed military “training” or “firing” zones and nature preserves, which cover another 44 percent of the valley beyond that controlled by settlements. See Save the Children, “Fact Sheet: Jordan Valley,” p. 2, and “Jordan Valley: General Description,” Jordan Valley Regional Council.
 According to Palestinian estimates, the Palestinian population of the valley has dropped from more than 200,000 (including refugees who had fled from Israeli forces in 1948) on the eve of Israel’s occupation of the area in 1967. Some residents fled in 1967 and were prevented from returning by Israel, while Israel’s restrictive building policies has forcibly displaced other, see: Amira Hass, “Otherwise occupied / How green is my valley,” Haaretz, March 4, 2010 (accessed July 15, 2010).
Jordan Valley Regional Council [the official website for the Israeli settler government of the area], “Jordan Valley: General Description,” http://www.jordanvalley.org.il/?categoryId=38842 (accessed April 26, 2010).
 OCHA, “‘Lack of Permit’ Demolitions and Resultant Displacement in Area C,” May 2008, http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/ocha_opt_special_focus_demolition_area_c.pdf (accessed August 20, 2010.)
 International Crisis Group, Israel’s religious right and the question of settlements, 2009, pp. 3, 5.
 Barak Ravid, “PM’s Plan would put some settlements on list of national priority communities,” Haaretz, December 11, 2009, http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1134037.html (accessed April 27, 2010); Barak Ravid and Moti Bassock, “Cabinet okays new national priority map that includes settlements,” Haaretz, December 15, 2009, http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1134904.html (accessed April 27, 2010).
 For discussions of the Jordan Valley, see World Bank, Water Sector Development, April 2009; World Bank, Economic Effects of Restricted Access to Land in the West Bank, October 2008; OCHA, “Special Focus: Jordan Valley,” 2005, http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/ochaHU1005_En.pdf (accessed August 25, 2010).
 Israeli governments have consistently voiced plans to retain the Jordan Valley. In October 1995, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin stated that Israel should “retain the Jordan Valley in the widest sense of that term.” (Cited by Dore Gold, “Banging Square Pegs into Round Holes,” Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, December 2008). In February 2006 Minister of Defense Shaul Mofaz stated that Israel's future permanent borders would include “the Jordan Rift Valley.” “Mofaz describes Israel's ‘future borders,’ including Ariel,” Haaretz, February 27 2006.
 Jonathan Lis, “Netanyahu: Israel will never cede Jordan Valley,” March 2, 2010, Haaretz, http://www.haaretz.com/news/netanyahu-israel-will-never-cede-jordan-valley-1.266329 (accessed July 20, 2010).
See case studies of Bardala, Al Ras al Ahmar and Al Hadidiye below. See also, Uri Blau and Yotam Feldman, “A Dry and Thirsty Land,” Haaretz, August 13, 2009 (quoting Palestinian residents of the Jordan Valley who are being forced out by the lack of water while noting abundant water in settlements), http://www.haaretz.com/a-dry-and-thirsty-land-1.281960 (accessed July 11, 2010).
Save the Children, “Fact Sheet: Jordan Valley,” October 2009, p. 9.
Venetia Rainey, “Schools suffer as Palestinians in Area C forced out,” Jerusalem Media and Communications Center, July 7, 2010, http://www.jmcc.org/news.aspx?id=1195 (accessed September 22, 2010).
Daphne Banai, “Stop Escalation in the Campaign for the Expulsion of Palestinian Nomads from the Jordan Valley,” July 12, 2009, Machsom Watch, http://www.canpalnet-ottawa.org/Jordan%20valley2.html (accessed June 3, 2010).
 Under the rules of international humanitarian law, civilian objects may not be the target of attack. (Additional Protocol I, art. 48.) Civilian objects have been defined as all objects that are not military objectives. (Protocol I, art. 52(1).) Military objectives are those objects which “by their nature, location, purpose or use make an effective contribution to military action and whose total or partial destruction, capture or neutralization, in the circumstances ruling at the time, offers a definite military advantage” (Id., art. 52(2).) As the ICRC’s authoritative Commentary on Protocol I states, “it is not legitimate to launch an attack which only offers potential or indeterminate advantages.”ICRC, Commentary to the Additional Protocols, para. 2024.
 Jordan Valley Regional Council, “General Description.”
“Hadassah Southern California: 2009-10 Case Statement,” http://www.cpcr.hadassah.org/atf/cf/%7BC0ADB627-BB8B-4C47-9A95-5924C2738BA2%7D/Matching_Gifts_rev607.pdf (accessed April 10, 2010). The Tirza reservoir collects “6 million cubic meters of water in run-off.” Michal Raveh, “Date farmers expect $14m in sales,” Globes, August 10, 2003, http://archive.globes.co.il/searchgl/Date%20farmers%20expect%20$14m%20in%20sales_h_hd_0L3KuDp8uN3SpC34mE2veT6ri.html (accessed April 18, 2010). The reservoir’s southern dam was completed in 2002. “Report on the Activities of Keren Keyemeth Le Israel / Jewish National Fund 2002,” http://www.kkl.org.il/almanac/ENGLISH/About/report.htm (accessed October 21, 2010).
File downloaded from Peace Now, settlements information, http://www.peacenow.org.il/data/SIP_STORAGE/files/7/2747.xls (accessed April 11, 2010).
 File downloaded from Peace Now, settlements information, http://www.peacenow.org.il/data/SIP_STORAGE/files/7/2747.xls (accessed April 11, 2010).
Human Rights Watch interview, settler, Mechola, July 6, 2010.
 Human Rights Watch observation, Mechola, July 6, 2010.
 The IFCJ was “founded in 1983 by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein to promote greater understanding between Jews and Christians and to build Christian support for Israel.” International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, http://www.ifcj.org/site/PageNavigator/eng/USENG_homenew?cvridirect=true (accessed July 10, 2010).
Human Rights Watch interview, international humanitarian employee dealing with northern Jordan Valley emergency relief, Jerusalem, November 15, 2010.
 “Shadmot Mechola,” http://www.m-s-m.org/index.htm (accessed April 13, 2010).
See World Bank, Water Sector Development, p.10, for a map of the aquifers.
Id., pp. vii-viii. In addition to extraction of water within the West Bank to supply to settlements, Israel also pumps about 10 MCM of water from wells in the West Bank that it then sells to the Palestinian providers and consumers through Mekorot. Id., p. 5.
 World Bank, Water Sector Development, p. 12.
Human Rights Watch, “Israel: Stop Plans for New West Bank Settlement,” August 5, 2008, http://www.hrw.org/he/news/2008/08/05/israel-stop-plans-new-west-bank-settlement.
File downloaded from Peace Now, outposts information, http://www.peacenow.org.il/data/SIP_STORAGE/files/3/3733.xls (accessed April 11, 2010). Peace Now provides figures in square meters rather than hectares.
 World Bank, Water Sector Development, p. vii.
 Id., p. 5.
Mekorot publishes a monthly water supply assessment that has different categories; one of them is “the PA and Bardala.” http://www.mekorot.co.il/Heb/WaterResourcesManagement/consumeData/Pages/Fabruary2010.aspx (accessed April 25, 2010).
 World Bank, Water Sector Development, p. ix. Israel does not need to seek approval from the joint water commission to use water resources originating in West Bank aquifers that flow into Israel proper. Id. Human Rights Watch is not aware of the proportion of projects intended to benefit the Israeli water network as opposed to Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
 World Bank, Water Sector Development., p. ix.
 Human Rights Watch interview with Michael Talhami, PA water consultant, Ramallah, October 26, 2010.
 Id., p. 54.
 Id., pp. v, vii.
Id., p. 7.
 Human Rights Watch interview with Michael Talhami, PA water consultant, Ramallah, October 26, 2010.
See discussion of Agrexco and other corporate involvement in agriculture in the Jordan Valley and accompanying notes in “Corporate Involvement in Settlements,” above.
World Bank, Water Sector Development, p. 99.
Id., p. 17.
Id., pp. 26-27.
Human Rights Watch interview with Fathi el Khodeirat, Bardala, April 7, 2010.
 Human Rights Watch interview with Mustafa Samour, Bardala, April 7, 2010.
B’Tselem, Thirsty for a Solution: The Water Crisis in the Occupied Territories and its Resolution in the Final-Status Agreement, 2000, p. 31, footnote 90, http://www.btselem.org/Download/200007_Thirsty_for_a_Solution_Eng.doc (accessed April 23, 2010). B’Tselem notes: “This case was covered by the international media. After great pressure was placed on Israel, Mekorot agreed to compensate the residents for their farming loss. The compensation was in the form of allocating water from these two wells to farmers in the two Palestinian villages.”
Human Rights Watch interview with Fathi el Khodeirat, Bardala, April 7, 2010; Human Rights Watch interview with Michael Talhami, PA water consultant, Ramallah, October 26, 2010.
Human Rights Watch interview with Mustafa Samour, Bardala, April 7, 2010.
Human Rights Watch interview with Fathi el Khodeirat, Bardala, April 7, 2010.
 Human Rights Watch interview with Michael Talhami, PA consultant, Ramallah, October 26, 2010.
World Bank, Water Sector Development, Annex 12b, “Palestinian WATER Projects on the WEST BANK pending JWC approval,” Project No. 96, p. 130.
 In the 1980s, prior to the first Palestinian intifada in 1987, Samour said, Israeli authorities dug a second, larger well in the area that pumped 1200 cubic meters per hour. The output of the first Israeli well was not affected, he said, but gradually, after 1989, villagers began to receive 200 cubic meters of water per hour rather than 240.
 According to Samour, the last bill the villagers paid directly to Mekorot cost 3.5 agorot per cubic meter of water. The PA sends the villagers bills at a rate of 40.0 agorot per cubic meter of water. Human Rights Watch interview with Mustafa Samour, Bardala, April 7, 2010.
Samour explained that the flow of water is distributed serially to different “water clocks,” each of which directs water to a certain agricultural area for irrigation. Each water clock receives water for one hour at a time, after which time the flow of water is directed to the next water clock. In total, there are 144 water clocks, such that each one is able to provide irrigation water to its parcel of farmland for one hour, once every 144 hours (or 6 days).
 Human Rights Watch interview with Hassan Ahmed, Bardala, April 7, 2010.
Recently, some Palestinian agricultural products from the northern Jordan Valley have been exported, mainly to Arab countries via Jordan. Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem (ARIJ), Integrated report for the Palestinian Agro-Production and Marketing System (case study of the northern Jordan Valley Area), 2010, p. 32, http://www.arij.org/publications/2010/integratedreport.pdf (accessed October 21, 2010).
Human Rights Watch interview with Israeli truck inspector, Sha’ar Efraim import/export crossing, Tulkarem District, West Bank, October 20, 2009.
 OCHA, “Closure Update – occupied Palestinian territory,” April 2007, p. 2, http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/Closure%20Apr07_2.pdf (accessed April 14, 2010).
OCHA, “Special Focus: West Bank Movement and Access,” June 2010, p. 22 (noting that due to the permit requirements imposed by some IDF checkpoints, non-Jordan Valley-permitted drivers from the city of Tubas must travel 176 kilometers to get to the village of Bardala, some 24 kilometers away).
Human Rights Watch interview with Fathi Khodeirat, Bardala, April 7, 2010.
 Human Rights Watch interview with Faiq Sbeih, al Fasayil, April 7, 2010.
Human Rights Watch interview with Fa’iq Sbeih, al Fasayil, April 7, 2010.
For information on current Israeli permit requirements for Jordan Valley residents, see also OCHA, “Special Focus: West Bank Movement and Access,” June 2010, p. 22.
World Bank, Water Sector Development, pp. 18, 22.
 Amnesty International, Troubled Waters, 2009, p. 6.
OCHA figures as of April 27, 2010, on file with Human Rights Watch.
Efrat Weiss, “New settlement being built in Jordan Valley,” Ynet, August 6, 2009, http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/1,7340,L-3772706,00.html (accessed October 5, 2010); “Ground broken for first 20 homes in new Jordan Valley settlement,” Jerusalem Post, August 7, 2009.
The Jordan valley has a mixed population of Palestinian villagers and town residents and Palestinian Bedouin, who continue to herd sheep but who are not nomadic, but tend to live within small fixed areas.
 File downloaded from http://www.peacenow.org.il/data/SIP_STORAGE/files/7/2747.xls (accessed April 11, 2010).
 File downloaded from http://www.peacenow.org.il/data/SIP_STORAGE/files/7/2747.xls (accessed April 11, 2010).
Machom Watch, “Urgent Call – escalation in Jordan Valley home demolition campaign,” July 6, 2010.
See “Discriminatory Restrictions and Planning and Forced Displacement in Area C,” above.
 Human Rights Watch, “Stop Demolishing Palestinian Homes,” June 12, 2009, http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/06/12/israel-stop-demolishing-palestinian-homes.
According to OCHA, “Israel has designated close to 18 percent of the West Bank as a closed military zone for the purposes of military training (as distinct from the closed military areas around Israeli settlements, between the Barrier and the Green Line, etc.). The majority of these training areas are located in the Jordan Valley and along the eastern slopes of the Bethlehem and Hebron governorates.” OCHA, Restricting Space, p. 5. For examples of Israeli eviction orders delivered to Palestinians residents of Al Hadidiye and Al Ras al Ahmar, see ARIJ, “Israeli Military Orders” website (enter “Tubas” as the Military Order District, then select the specific locality to view scanned copies of the eviction orders; http://orders.arij.org/searchMOLocality.php?MilitaryOrderDistrict=16 (accessed October 21, 2010).
 Information on file with Human Rights Watch.
Machsom Watch, “Urgent Call – escalation in Jordan Valley home demolition campaign,” July 6, 2010.
Human Rights Watch interview with Taleb Abdel Kareem Awawdeh, Al Hadidiye, April 7, 2010.
Chaim Levinson, “Civil Administration told to crack down on illegal Arab structures,” July 19, 2010, http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/civil-administration-told-to-crack-down-on-illegal-arab-structures-1.302692 (accessed July 22, 2010).
 Information according to OCHA, on file with Human Rights Watch.
Human Rights Watch, “Israel: New Peak in Arbitrary Razing of Palestinian Homes,” August 19, 2010, http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2010/08/19/israel-new-peak-arbitrary-razing-palestinian-homes.
Military Order No. 378, Concerning Security Regulations, April 20, 1970.
Human Rights Watch interview with attorney Tawfiq Jabarin, June 5, 2009.
B’Tselem, Means of Expulsion; ACRI, “High Court Approves Demolition of West Bank Village.” In HCJ 11258/05, January 2009, the high court rejected an appeal filed by ACRI against eviction orders for Khirbet Tana on the basis that the residents were only seasonal, not permanent.
 Amira Hass, “IDF destroys West Bank village after declaring it military zone,” Haaretz, July 21, 2010, http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/idf-destroys-west-bank-village-after-declaring-it-military-zone-1.303098 (accessed October 31, 2010).
Human Rights Watch interview with Abu Sakar, Al Hadidiye, April 7, 2010.
 The case is reported in OCHA, “The Humanitarian Monitor,” July 16, 2010, p. 6.
Human Rights Watch interview with Rayath Salamin, Al Hadidiye, April 7, 2010.
Abu Riyad’s case is also discussed by Ma’an Development Center, Draining Away: The Water Crisis in the Jordan Valley, p. 16, http://www.maan-ctr.org/pdfs/WateReport.pdf (accessed October 25, 2010).
 Human Rights Watch interview with Abu Riyad, April 7, 2010.