Bedouin community in firing zone, near Route 578 (Derech Alon). Photo: Keren Manor / activestills.org, 8 Feb. '11
The Jordan Valley is a sparsely populated region with vast, uninhabited areas. The considerable size of the Jordan Valley and its relatively sparse population make it the largest land reserve for future development of the West Bank. Urban centers could be developed in the Jordan Valley to address population growth in the West Bank; its fertile land is crucial for the production of food for the West Bank’s growing population and for turning a profit on agricultural exports; and its extensive uninhabited sections make it attractive for development in terms of energy, infrastructure and industry. Israeli and Palestinian economists believe that “In order to ensure the viability and sustainability of the future Palestinian state, the Jordan Valley needs to be opened to the Palestinian population immediately,” thereby enabling realization of the potential for economic development in this region, which is crucial to the rehabilitation and development of the Palestinian economy.