Jordan Valley, July, 16, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Wednesday conducted wide-range military drills across the Jordan Valley area, according to a local official.
Head of Wadi Maleh village council, Aref Daraghmeh, told WAFA that forces were deployed across different parts of the Jordan Valley area, where they conducted military training.
The Israeli army often conducts drills in the occupied West Bank, especially in the Jordan Valley, after forcefully displacing dozens of local Palestinian families due to the proximity of their homes to the training sites.
Palestinians living in these areas have to also worry about unexploded ordnance left behind by the Israeli army after the drills, which have led to the death of many Palestinians, including children, over the past years.
In 2014, three Palestinians were killed by unexploded ordnance left by Israeli forces in the West Bank’s Jordan Valley, while Gaza remains plagued with unexploded ordnance following the most recent Israeli aggression.
On May 1, Jordan Valley Solidarity, a network of Palestinian grassroots community groups, petitioned to the UN, international embassies and international NGOs to pressure Israel to stop its regular military exercises in the northern Jordan Valley.
“This training will devastate the communities of Humsa Fouqa, Ibziq and Ras ar Ahmar and all of the surrounding area once again,” said the group.
Israel is planning to annex the Jordan Valley into a completely Israeli area, primarily in agriculture, targeting to ban territorial contiguity between a future Palestinian state and the rest of the Arab world.
In May 2014, a senior Israeli commander admitted that training exercises in the occupied West Bank involve live fire and are used to drive local Palestinian residents off their land.
Israeli Colonel Einav Shalev, an operations officer in the Israeli military’s central command, admitted using the tactic during a subcommittee meeting of Israel’s parliament in April 2014.
The revelation was a rare official acknowledgement of a measure that critics have long decried as part of a deliberate policy by the Israeli authorities to force Palestinians out of their land.
The revelation, reported media sources, was a ‘rare official acknowledgement of a measure that critics have long decried as part of a deliberate policy by the Israeli authorities to force Palestinians out of their land.’