Yesterday was a deeply depressing day - and I suspect there is more to come. We travelled the length of the Jordan Valley through Jericho and on towards Tubas. This is Area C and that means that it is all under Israeli control. Area C represents 60% of the the West Bank.
This control is exerted in many ways but the two that seemed to be the most cynical in impoverishing the Palestinians is the control over planning and the control over water.
In terms of planning the Palestinians cannot develop anything (strictly speaking this is not true as 1% of requests for development have been approved!) - this extends to roadworks, housing, schools etc. - at the same time Israeli settlements grow and develop. The area is heavily militarised by the IDF and monitored to make sure that no Palestinians have added another room to their home - on top of this is the constant threat that anything built after 1967 will be given a Demolition Order and then one day, two days or two months notice - they will not be told - to vacate their home.
In the second area, that of water control, the policy of controlling water is plain for all to see. As we drove along the road heading north we could see, time and time again, the small Bedouin farmers with bare, scrappy land on which there were a few goats or sheep whilst on the other side of the road we could for mile after mile see lush, green plantations and crops - surrounded by security fencing - that were being farmed by the Israeli settlers.
If this is not ethnic cleansing, then what is?
Here are the links for David's other diary entries from his trip to the West Bank: