WERU News Report 7/23/14

Producer: Carolyn Coe

Topic: Jordan Valley, Palestine

Key discussion points:
Israel’s occupation of Palestine has made life for Palestinians in the Jordan Valley very difficult. Palestinian farmers and herders struggle as Israel controls their water access, has implemented severe land use restrictions and export barriers, and has demolished their homes. As family debt rises, Palestinians often seek employment in the expanding Israeli colonial settlements.
The agricultural settlements lack enforcement of labor protections, so Palestinian workers receive less than the Israeli minimum wage, and they work without sick days or pensions. They are often recruited by a Palestinian go-between who takes a significant cut in the workers’ pay. Palestinian children comprise as much as ten percent of this workforce.

Rashed Sawafta, organizer, Jordan Valley Solidarity
Feras Yousef Salam Abeyat, agricultural worker in Tomer settlement
Ivan Karakashian, advocacy unit coordinator, Defence for Children International, Palestine
Amjad Jaber, director, Palestinian Ministry of Labor, Jericho
Hamza Zbeidat, field organizer, Ma’an Development Agency
Taleb Ali Salam Abeyat, agricultural worker in Tomer settlement
Hamda Ali Masoud Ibdirat, agricultural worker in Massu’a and Tomer settlements
Ahmed Saeed, farmer, Palestinian Farmers’ Union
Jamal Juma’, coordinator, Stop the Wall campaign

Ma’an Development Center www.maan-ctr.org
Defence for Children International, Palestine, www.dci-pal.org/
Stop the Wall campaign, www.stopthewall.org
Jordan Valley Solidarity www.jordanvalleysolidarity.org