Zbeidat village Jordan valley. Credit Hamza Zbeidat

Friends of the Earth International condemns Israel’s move to forcefully annex significant parts of the occupied Palestinian territories from 1 July 2020. The forced annexation plan would control Palestinian lands and natural resources, and isolate Palestinian communities in the governorates of the occupied West Bank. It would also undermine and violate most importantly the Geneva Conventions and other international laws.

This annexation plan would mean that Israel would illegally acquire more than 340,000 donums (equivalent to 34,000 hectares) of agricultural lands in the Jordan Valley, including the Jordan river and the Dead Sea and its natural resources, in turn denying Palestinians their basic human right to water. It would extend Israel’s full control over most of Jordan Valley and all of the major colonial settlement blocs (there are more than 235 illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank). This would form approximately 42% percent of the West Bank, leaving the remaining Palestinian ‘ghettos’ fragmented and completely surrounded by Israel with no territorial connection.

Since 1967, the Israeli occupation has meant the denial of basic human rights to Palestinians. Violations include land confiscation, discrimination and detention, confiscation of natural resources, food insecurity, house demolitions, forced displacement and targeting of women activists and defenders of territories. Palestinian peoples face the impacts of environmental injustice in their daily lives, including regular electricity cuts and dumping of toxic waste on their land by Israel. Friends of the Earth International has witnessed these injustices and violations of Palestinian peoples’ rights in the territories, through solidarity missions in 2012 and 2013.

Friends of the Earth International urgently calls on all global leaders to use their diplomatic means to immediately and vehemently oppose Israel’s unlawful plans to further annex the occupied Palestinian territory, to bring to a permanent end the occupation of Palestinian lands, stop the daily violation of human rights by Israeli authorities and push for the upholding of fundamental principles of international law. The international community must exert pressure to stop Israel from moving forward with this plan before it becomes totally irreversible.

We stand in solidarity with the peoples of Palestine and with PENGON-Friends of the Earth Palestine, in their struggle for social and environmental justice in their territories.


Jordan Valley Palestine image credit Maan Samara

Main image: Zbeidat village in the Jordan valley, by Hamza Zbeidat.
Bottom image: Israeli military zones in the Jordan valley, by Maan Samara.


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