DAY 5 – Stagnation in Jordan Valley
After getting to work on the hummus plantation with local Palestinian farmer families, we got to know and understand better about their lives. Most of the fields and plantations of Palestinian people are located in area C, which means it is totally controlled by the Israeli authorities under military law, but neither them or Palestinian authorities are able or willing to provide services and help, such as healthcare, schools, access to water, infrastructure, etc. On the contrary, they create barriers and difficulties by making it harder to live from farming.
Rashed, one of the farmers and activist, explained that less than a week ago, Israel increased border taxation, controls and closures. This lead into an overproduction of stock, in result it was really expensive for Palestinians to export to Jordan and surrounding countries. So the prices of the hummus fall down from 3 shekels per kilogram, to 1.5 shekels per kilogram. That implies that they need to work twice more than before in order to earn the same that they did before. On top of this, Israelis control all water supplies and manage the permissions in terms of construction and building infrastructures for the farmers, who most of the times find these permissions denied.
We visited one of the oldest cities in the world, Jericho, where a famous Hisham’s palace is located. In Jericho we also visited the Monastery of the Temptation, where it is believed that Jesus was fasting for 40 days in a cave.