The Last Shepherds of the Jordan Valley
Al Jazeera (2012)
This documentary depicts the systematic persecution of Bedouin shepherds in the Jordan Valley by the Israeli government. Although their ancestors have farmed the occupied West Bank for thousands of years, Israel is determined to drive these Palestinians from their homeland because the Jordan River is the main source of much of Israel’s water. Since 1997, the Israel Defense Force has routinely demolished their homes, shot their sheep and/or arrested them without charge.
The majority of Palestinians fled the Jordan Valley during the 1967 war. Israel prohibits those who left from returning. Ten thousand remained. Although many of their descendants have been driven out, at present the Jordan Valley is home to 60,000 Palestinians.
The Israeli government has illegally confiscated most of the shepherds’ lands for a military firing range. They have also allowed Israeli settlers to build illegal settlements.
Local families are forbidden to draw water from their own well, which is now deemed the property of the Israeli military.
Instead they must travel 27 km and pay $7 per cubic meter to buy water from Israel.
Since the documentary was first released in 2012, Israel has arrested one of the women for participating in its filming.