‘It will be a disaster’: Palestinians prepare for annexation
Palestinian farmers living in the occupied Jordan Valley say they are worried about what the future holds with Israel’s impending annexation of the territory, which could begin as early as Wednesday.
Concerns abound the annexation will prevent them from accessing their land and they will be cut off from the rest of the West Bank, destroying their export business and only source of income.
The strategic, and fertile, Jordan Valley is known as the “breadbasket” for Palestinians, constituting half the total agricultural area providing food for Palestinians in the West Bank.
“If annexation goes ahead, it will be a disaster for us farmers in the Jordan Valley,” 52-year-old Muneer Nasasri from the village of Jiffly, 30km (12 miles) south of Jericho, told Al Jazeera.
“We’re tired of the issue of annexation. We’re very scared of what the future could hold. We’re all scared and expecting something to happen on July 1 or July 10 or July 15. What could happen?” Nasasri said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to begin the annexation of illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, including parts of the strategic Jordan Valley, from July 1, fulfilling an election campaign pledge.
The plan to annex as much as one-third of the occupied West Bank was given impetus by US President Donald Trump’s unveiling in late January of his so-called “Middle East plan” as Netanyahu stood by his side.
But details on how Israel plans to proceed with the annexation, as well as the timing, remain unclear.