Jordan Valley

A large valley (125 km long and 15 km across) that forms the border between Israel and Jordan in the north and the West Bank and Jordan in the south, running from Lake Tiberias to the Dead Sea. The Jordan Valleycomprises approximately 30% of the West Bank and is an important source of water. Most of the Jordan Valleyis considered Area C (under Israeli military and civil control) and has recently been a contentious issue in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Palestinians insist that Israel remove its military and settlements, as the Jordan Valleyis part of the Occupied Palestinian Territories and would constitute their future state’s border with Jordan. Israel insists that a permanent military presence in the Jordan Valleyis necessary for security reasons, though this was not a core demand in earlier negotiations. Some in Netanyahu’s government want to annex the Jordan Valleyoutright. There are 26 settlements in the Jordan Valley, with stark differences in distribution of water and other resources between the settlements and the chiefly Bedouin communities in the Jordan Valley. There has also been, in recent years, a sharp increase in home demolitions in the Bedouin communities. See “"Background on the Jordan Valley," B’tselem, May 18, 2011. See also “Strategic Corridor in West Bank Remains a Stumbling Block in Mideast Talks," Isabel Kershner, The New York Times, Jan 4, 2014; and “Israel demolishes Palestinian houses in vital Jordan Valley," Ruth Eglash, The Washington Post, March 8, 2014.

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