Our partner, the Jordan Valley Solidarity Campaign (JVSC) sent news that on 4th February, Israeli forces “stormed the village” and closed the water wells the Israeli authorities claim to be illegal and destroyed the 700-meter water lines for farmers.
Bardala is well-known to ICAHD. It was the location of our building camp in 2018 and for many years, visits to Bardala have been included on the extended study tours done in conjunction with ICAHD. Some of the Jordan Valley’s best land for cultivation and grazing is in Bardala and during our visits there, we have been struck by its beauty with the bare mountains to the west, the distant views of Jordan to the east and with the green lushness within Bardala . However, for its agricultural enterprise to thrive, water is required but since the Occupation began in 1967, Israel has monopolized, destroyed and exhausted the area’s water resources. In 1974, Mekorot, the Israeli water company closed Bardala’ s water well and forced the village to purchase water from Mekorot. An agreement was made with the village for Mekorot to supply 240 cubic metres of water an hour, but it then reduced the supply to 100 cubic meters per hour which is far below what is needed for agricultural purposes and limits the types of crops it can grow. Part of Palestinian resistance to this water shortage is to connect their pipes to Israel’s water supply. On average, Israeli authorities enter Bardala five times a year to destroy these connections.
The Jordan Valley Solidarity Campaign states that Israel uses its control of water as a weapon to succeed in its goals of ethnically cleansing the area. Demolitions of homes and agricultural structures and destruction of irrigation systems have escalated since President Donald Trump announced his support of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to annex the Jordan Valley.