Area C covers 60% of the West Bank and is home to an estimated 180,000-300,000 Palestinians and to a settler population of at least 325,500 living in 125 settlements and approx. 100 outposts. Israel retains control of security and land-management in Area C and views the area as there to serve its own needs, such as military training, economic interests and settlement development. Ignoring Palestinian needs, Israel practically bans Palestinian construction and development. At the same time, it encourages the development of Israeli settlements through a parallel planning mechanism, and the Civil Administration turns a blind eye to settlers’ building violations.
This morning (Jan. 8) the Civil Administration demolished all structures in the Palestinian community of Khirbet ‘Ein Karzaliyah in the Jordan Valley, comprised of 10 adults and 15 minors, who have been left with no shelter for themselves or their livestock in the harsh winter weather conditions. B’Tselem Director Jessica Montell said earlier today “Israel has once again forgotten that control entails responsibility. The Jordan Valley cannot be addressed as a merely theoretical issue, discussing its future while completely disregarding the fate of its residents. At the moment, the authorities must set aside their political ambitions and consider the fate of 25 individuals, who do not know how they’ll get through the night and how their flocks, their only source of income and livelihood, will fare.”