Palestinian Jordan Valley: pirate outpost in Umm Zuka takes over privately owned Palestinian land
The settler-colonists of this outpost along with others have recently begun to clear land of stones inside the nature reserve. Neighbors estimate the area in question is some hundreds of dunams. Last Thursday the settler-colonists plowed it. Added to the fact that this is a nature reserve, some people in Tubas claim it is their private property. Yesh Din organization is handling the matter.
To date, all the official authorities know admittedly that this outpost, founded early this year, and all acts taken to expand it are now under an order to cease all construction – an order that has not been enforced in any way. Not even when these people take over privately owned land, apparently. The possibility to remove them seems less and less likely. In the meantime they harass and distance Palestinian shepherds from their own grazing grounds, shepherds who were having a hard enough time making a living even before this development.
Four communities in the Palestinian Jordan Valley have lately been under immediate threat of massive demolitions - all inhabitants if En Al Hilwa, Umm Jamal and Khalat Makhoul, and another five families in Farisiya. Demolition orders have been issued for all of these people’s dwelling tents and sheep pens. They all live in constant anxiety, fearing the bulldozers that may arrive any day now.
Computer studies for shepherds’ children, an initiative by Al Quds University
For the past month, a mobile unit for computer studies has been active in the area. This is a wheeled container that arrives once a week to several shepherd communities (En Al Hilwa, Hamam Al Malih, Hadidiya, Farisiya) on non-school days. It contains 30 computer work posts and an instructor. On the designated day and time, all the children of the community gather and become familiarized with the computer – in several shifts if necessary. Responsible for this wonderful initiative is Al Quds University, an open university that has a branch in Tubas, in coordination with the new local council.