Israeli forces set fire to Palestinian factory after firing tear gas at demonstrators
Israeli forces were protecting a group of settlers who entered the area to perform prayers.
"The settlers, under army protection, stormed [the area] in the early hours of the morning, during which Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters which led to a fire," Salama Satriya, an activist from Ain al-Sultan camp near Jericho, told The New Arab's Arabic-language service.
"The Palestinian civil defence intervened to extinguish it," he added.
Most of the Jordan Valley, where Jericho is located, is designated as Area C, falling under full Israeli civil and military control.
This has allowed for the flourishing of many Israeli settlements, deemed illegal under international law.
Despite their illegality, settlements are given full protection by the Israeli military.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared in September that Israel would annex the Jordan Valley if he is re-elected.
The Jordan Valley is the border between the West Bank and Israel on its west and Jordan on its east.
Senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi said that by annexing the Jordan Valley, Netanyahu is "not only destroying the two-state solution, he is destroying all chances of peace."
Israeli governments have long claimed that the Jordan Valley is part of the country and that they would never relinquish control over it, citing reasons of security.
However, the fertile strip is a large part of the West Bank and would form an integral part of a future Palestinian state.
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