Israeli settlers on land near Jordan have begun moving in, a move that may soon make the border between the two countries the most militarized in the region.
On Monday, a group of around 100 settlers crossed the border into Jordan’s northern border city of Beit El and moved into the village of Shul, a Jordanian border town that is home to a large number of Israeli settlers.
According to local residents, the settlers are planning to move into the nearby village of Taliya, which is close to the Jordan River, which separates the Israeli-occupied West Bank from Jordan’s eastern border.
According the residents, Israeli settlers have been camping out in the area for weeks.
The settlers, who were initially reported to be Israeli, were later detained and later released.
In the meantime, the Israelis have begun to erect metal barriers on the Jordanian side of the border and are also planning to construct a barrier between the Israeli border crossing in Qalandia and the Jordanian border crossing at Nablus.
The residents told Al Jazeera that they are concerned about the potential for Israeli aggression, as well as the possible repercussions of the Israeli settlers being relocated in a neighboring country, as the Jordan Valley is the site of frequent clashes between Israeli and Palestinian forces.
Israel’s government has not commented on the settlers’ move into Jordan, but its military has been stepping up its presence along the Jordanian-Israeli border in recent weeks, in an apparent effort to increase its presence there.
Israel has not made any attempt to establish an Israeli settlement in the Jordan valley, despite the presence of a large Palestinian population in the Valley.
Israel did not take responsibility for the Palestinians’ deaths, nor did it directly blame them for the killing of two Israeli teenagers in Jordan in December 2016, and an Israeli soldier was killed in the same month in the West Bank.
The Palestinians claim that Israel is illegally building settlements in the occupied West Bank and that the Israeli military is responsible for the deaths of the two teenagers.
Israel regards the West Wall, the ancient Jewish Temple compound in Jerusalem, as its eternal capital, and it has maintained the Israeli occupation of the West bank for more than 150 years.
The Israeli military has carried out several deadly assaults on Palestinians in the past few years, including the assassination of a Palestinian student in the Gaza Strip in August 2016.
The Jordan Valley has been a key battleground in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Israel captured the West Jordan Valley in 1967 from Jordan, which it annexed in a move never recognized by the international community.
Since then, the region has become a major military battleground between Israel and the Palestinians.
In 2017, Israel launched Operation Protective Edge, a military offensive in the northern Jordan Valley aimed at cutting off the Gaza strip from the territory’s coastal population and its economy.
The military offensive, which involved an air strike, naval blockade and ground assault, has since killed more than 1,000 Palestinians and wounded more than 8,000.