Israel Cancels Firing Zone Status in Jordan Valley to Expand Illegal Settlement

JERUSALEM, March 8, 2015 (WAFA) – The Israeli Haartez daily revealed an Israeli army plan canceling the status of an army firing zone in the Jordan Valley in order to expand the settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim, while continuing to demolish Palestinian homes in the area labeled as firing zones.

Haartez said, “The area in question is called Firing Zone 912, which was declared a firing zone more than 40 years ago. It extends from Ma’aleh Adumim (east of Jerusalem) to the Dead Sea in the east and Umm Daraj in the south, and is still used by the Israel Defense Forces for training, particularly by the Armored Corps.”

It said that on January 18, GOC Central Command Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon signed an order reducing the size of the firing zone, which covers approximately 150 dunams (about 37 acres).

There is a master plan for the area that earmarks it for the construction of dozens of housing units to expand Ma’aleh Adumim. Work has already begun in the area and a sign has been erected announcing the construction of 88 units in the area, called Nofei Adumim, said paper’s online website.

“The army has been demolishing the homes of Palestinians and Bedouin in firing zones in recent years and does not issue permits allowing them to remain in the area, which it claims is still needed for training.”