[Monday, January 13, 2014] Israeli authorities have seized emergency tents provided by the United Nations to shelter families whose homes were demolished by the army last week, according to a UN press release.The Palestinian News & Info Agency (WAFA) reports that the release, issued by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied Palestinian territories (OCHA), states that the tents were provided to the Bani Manieh families from Jiftlik, in Jericho, after the Israeli army demolished all their residential and livelihood structures on Wednesday.
13 structures, belonging to three families of the Bani Manieh community, were destroyed by the army, displacing 26 people, including 15 children.
The army claims that the area was a military training zone.
The Jordan Valley makes up about 29% of the West Bank, and Israel is simultaneously trying to empty the region of its Palestinian Arab citizens, as it attempts to keep control over the area in any future peace deal with the Palestinians.
The Palestinians refuse to allow any Israeli presence in the Jordan Valley and assert that this land is vital to their economy and statehood.
Chris Carlson is a student of religion at Mount Mercy University, United States, and has been a regular volunteer with the IMEMC since 2013. He assisted in providing extensive coverage of the 2014 Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip and continues, into the present day, with the issues at hand. He can be reached via email at c h r i s @ i m e m c . o r g.