The Jordan Valley Coalition
Launched in 2017, Combatants for Peace has partnered with Machsom Watch, Taayush and other human rights groups to defend the Jordan Valley against systematic violence and displacement from Israeli forces and settlers. We have accompanied shepherds on their daily work, provided protection from violence against farming communities in the area, and led advocacy with the military court system and Military Civil Administration of the Occupied Palestinian Territories. On November 12, 2017, we issued anopen letter calling for urgent international interventionto prevent a massive forcible population transfer of Palestinians.
Combatants for Peace is actively challenging the ongoing human rights violations by the State of Israel, including: house demolitions; the denial of water supply; restricting Palestinian access to farmland, health care and education; repeated confiscation of farming machinery, residential tents, water tanks and livestock; and increasingly restrictive military checkpoints.
The activity is in a 80Km (50mi) stretch of the Jordan Valley from Jericho in the south to the green line checkpoint in the north.
Jordan Valley Coalition Activity:
- Shepherds escort: The coalition manages a pool of activists from the Haifa and the North, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. These activists come in small groups to help Palestinian shepherds requesting escort. During escorts any incidents with either the IDF or settlers are documented.
- Legal documentation: In the last year we backed the activity on the ground with official complaints to the different Israeli military and civil authorities. This work has two objectives: The immediate objective is to try and stop human rights violations on the administrative level within days or hours of their occurrence. The second objective is to form an archive of official documentation, through the accumulation of legal letters and the documentation of the daily, systemic behaviors and events of the Israeli military in the Jordan Valley.
- Advocacy: open letters published online and on social media, as well as lectures and tours for Israelis and Internationals to see the situation on the ground
- Other ways of supporting the communities: We have built four playgrounds, and we use our network of volunteers for specific support in order to buy medicine for livestock, interface with military, create a record of events, etc.
- Reimbursement to activists for travel expenses. The average drive for an activist to the Jordan Valley and back is 240Km (150mi)
- Legal fees: The lawyers’ retainer is 2500 shekels, out of this Combatants for Peace is paying 1500. This does not cover appeals to courts and Supreme Court. We would like to be able to secure the retainer for a longer time and form a budget for appeals when needed.
- We are looking for funds to cover buying remote cameras, wearable cameras and wearable recording devices so we can document (beyond testimonies) intrusions of settlers into Palestinian tents compounds, and document harassments during grazing even if activists are not present.
- Activity and incidents public reports: We would like to issue a report that will sum our documentation of the daily incidents we documented in the Jordan Valley, and ideally start issuing a bimonthly or a quarterly report. The report will also include facts that come from the legal correspondence with the authorities. This will require the fee for a report writer to go through the documents and reports, sum the data and give context to policies and practices of the settlers and military as a daily routine.