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Residents in northern village appeal to authorities over lack of services, opportunities

65-kilometre-long pipeline for gas imported from Israel has ‘ruined many fertile lands’ further harming employment — resident

By Suzanna Goussous - Sep 08,2018 - Last updated at Sep 08,2018

Some roads leading to the northern village are described by residents as ‘narrow, completely deteriorated and dangerous to drive on’ (Photo courtesy of Yasser Quraan)

AMMAN — Residents of Ibsar Abu Ali village in Irbid on Friday appealed to authorities about the lack of health services, proper roads, transport, infrastructure, rise in unemployment and immigration among the village’s households. 

Yasser Quraan, one of the residents of the village, said the town suffers from abandonment and isolation, leading to a rise in redundancy and immigration rates. 

“This Jordanian village is neglected by authorities as it does not have any of the basic services that should be provided to citizens; no medical or education-related centres are in or close to the village.”

There are three roads that lead to the village, he said, but they are “narrow, completely deteriorated and dangerous to drive on, which causes car accidents, deaths and injuries”. 

“On the Ibsar Abu Ali – Al Taybeh road, if one vehicle meets another, one of them must stop completely, this creates complete blockage on the road; while on another road from the village to Deir Sana or Kafraan, we have only the remains of a road,” he told The Jordan Times.

Quraan said due to the lack of services, residents suffer from high unemployment rates constituting around 50 per cent of the village’s residents. 

Residents of the village have to drive 4 kilometres to reach the closest medical centre, he added, which takes about 20 minutes navigating “a sharp, dangerous valley and an uneven road” to Al Taybeh.

Resident Ali Elayyan said the village is also home to many historic sites that date back to the Ottoman era; however, he claimed the sites “are not even listed on the tourism map”, adding: “These sites are hidden gems that authorities are and have been neglecting over the years”.

The historic sites are “strategically located” overlooking Palestine’s Lake Tiberias and the occupied Golan Heights.

School students “do not have proper transport services to and from schools outside the village”. He said “More than 20 students [have to] fit into the bus in order to arrive on time… they go through [a] bumpy road leading to school,” adding that sometimes the bus arrives to pick up students 60 to 90 minutes late.

Elayyan, who is a father of two children (one in the first grade and one in kindergarten), said the lack of services forces residents of the village into the dilemma of fleeing their homes to seek a better-quality of life for their children in the capital.

 “Parents feel obliged to take the risk and send their children on the crowded bus because there are no alternatives,” Elayyan added.

 “Even public parks to spend leisure time [in] are not available in the village”, he said. “Many of our youths gather to drive to the closest point outside the village to play a football game.”

Abdullah Saleh said the construction of a 65-kilometre-long pipeline for gas imported from Israel, under the gas deal signed in 2016 between Jordan and Israel, has “ruined many fertile lands”.

“The gas pipeline is rejected entirely. First and foremost, because it is imported from our enemy, second, the pipeline is being constructed under lands that are agriculturally fertile lands, which denies residents their rights to make income, this is a major problem especially with the rise of unemployment,” he told The Jordan Times.

Quraan said the pipeline would “place people’s safety at risk”, explaining that any explosion would threaten the residents’ well-being, since it is constructed near houses in a small village. Earlier last month, residents clashed with the Petrojet Company constructing the pipeline.

Despite several attempts by The Jordan Times, officials from the northern village were not available to comment. 

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