On Saturday, a group of Palestinians and internationals went to the Jordan Valley in what they hoped would be a fun-filled day with an event organized by Sharek Youth Forum.
The crime? RIDING BIKES IN THE JORDAN VALLEY! As we began riding, we noticed several settler cars heading back from what we assumed was a camping trip. A few minutes later, Israel army jeeps arrived to block the road.
Why did they prevent us you ask? We were given three reasons, not in any specific order:
1) for your security
2) riding bikes here is a security threat
3) this is a closed military zone
In short, our bike tour didn’t happen. Nonetheless, the town of Jiftlik provided us with za3tar and cheese sandwiches. And while we were watching performances, the soldiers were sitting outside overdressed and sitting directly in the sun. No wonder they were cranky!
you can find a factsheet on the Jordan Valley and Dead Sea area here: http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/Full%20Report_551.pdf