family now living in relative's old house - 6 people in one room. they moved temporarily into an old unused and decrepit adobe shack until one of the young girls was bitten by a snake.
Abdullah's demolished home
above: temporary shacks housing Palestinian families in the Jordan Valley village of Fasayil.
Under the Israeli occupation, the scattered remnants of the Palestinian community are generally not allowed to build new homes or agricultural infrastructure (under the Oslo accords most of the Jordan valley was assigned to "Area C", under full Israeli military control).
We met a man named Abdullah who's family home was recently demolished. He had dared to build an actual concrete home. He is now rebulidng with mud bricks that he and his family are making themselves.
The village has no water or electric connection. They use a generator for 2 hours a day and water is brought in by truck. A 3 day supply for Abdulla's family costs $20.
While such dire conditions exist in many places in the world - the situation here is striking because of the apartheid like conditions created by the occupation. Nearby Israeli settlements draw water from new wells and are hooked up to the electrical grid while the Israeli military prevents indigenous Palesitnian communites from drilling new wells or building new homes. It amounts to an policy of ethnic cleansing through economic pressure and deprival of the basic necessities of water and shelter. This situation is one of the most naked injustices I've seen in the occupied territories.
For more on the Jordan Valley see: "The Jordan Valley's forgotten Palestinians Ben White," The Electronic Intifada, 30 May 2008
For ways to support, see:
Jordan Valley Solidarity: http://www.jordanvalleysolidarity.org/