UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

The Impact of Settlements on Palestinians in the Jordan Valley

Many UNISON members support and use products supplied by Zaytoun - a company which was founded in 2004 to provide a UK market for Palestinian farming products. A new Oxfam report highlights the difficulties faced by farmers in the Jordan Valley, from where Zaytoun sources dates:

'On the Brink: The Impact of Settlements on Palestinians in the Jordan Valley', says the Jordan Valley, in the occupied West Bank, has the potential to be the Palestinian bread basket, yet restrictions on Palestinians use of land, water, and on building in the valley are keeping them poor while helping nearby Israeli settlements thrive.

By one estimate, the Palestinian economy could gain an additional $1 billion a year in agricultural revenue if the restrictions on Palestinian use of land, water, and mobility in the Jordan Valley were removed.

The report shows that Palestinians can use just 6 percent of the land in the Jordan Valley, while Israeli settlers, who account for just 13 percent of the valley's people, have control over 86 percent of its land.

Settlements in the Jordan Valley - illegal under international law - have established industrial farms that produce high value crops for sale in markets locally and abroad, and are supported by a range of Israeli government grants and subsidies that facilitate their growth and sustainability. At the same time, the poverty rate for Palestinian communities in the Jordan Valley is nearly double that of the rest of the West Bank as many struggle to make a living from farming and animal rearing without adequate access to land.’