Israel Evicts 13 Families in Jordan Valley to Conduct Drills

NABLUS, November 2, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Monday forced 13 Palestinian Bedouin families in northern Jordan Valley to leave their homes to make way for Israeli military training in the area, according to local sources.

Aref Daraghmeh, head of al-Maleh local council in northern Jordan Valley, said an Israeli army force broke into Kherbet Hamsa al-Foqa, a small Bedouin village in the area, and ordered 13 families to leave their homes from 6:30 Monday until 12:00 AM Tuesday, to conduct military drills in the area.

Almost on a weekly basis, Israeli army orders Palestinian Bedouins residing in the Jordan Valley to leave their homes to make way for live-fire trainings.

Under the Oslo accords, 90% of the valley was labeled Area C, where Israel retains full civil and military control, enabling it to restrict Palestinians movement, construction and development projects.

Many Palestinians in the Jordan Valley see military exercises in firing zones as well as repeated house demolitions as an Israeli strategy to empty the land of Palestinians and confiscate it for further settlement expansion.

In May 2014, a senior Israeli army officer reported that military training in live-fire zones in the West Bank “is used as a way of reducing the number of Palestinians living nearby, and serves as an important part of the campaign against Palestinian illegal construction.”

Israeli Col. Einav Shalev described the Israeli army policy of confiscating humanitarian equipment destined for Palestinians whose homes have been destroyed as ‘a punch in the right places’.

According to B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights group, Israeli military training in the Jordan Valley “cause unreasonable disruption to the lives of the communities in the area.”

“The residents are required to leave their homes for many hours, sometimes on short notice of just a few hours. In some cases, they do not have any proper alternative location, and are left exposed to the harsh weather conditions that prevail in the Jordan Valley in the summer.”