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Israeli forces order Jordan Valley evacuation for training

12:00 Dec 31 2012 Wadi al-Maleh, Ein al-Hilwa, Al-Faw valley, al-Meeta, Al-Borj

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NABLUS (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces have delivered evacuation orders to around 100 Palestinian families in the northern Jordan Valley ahead of a military training exercise, a local official said Monday.

The evacuation affects around 1,000 Palestinians living in rural communities around Wadi al-Maleh, local mayor Arif Daraghma told Ma’an.

They must leave their homes by Wednesday for 48 hours, or they will be subject to penalties, he said.

The orders explain that Israeli troops will be holding military drills in the area.

"To ensure the safety of the local inhabitants, temporary eviction notices were distributed today to the residents of the illegal structures located in a closed military zone to be used in the exercise," Israel's army said in a statement.

The residents will be allowed to return after the military exercises have been completed.

"It should be emphasized that these structures, located in closed military zones actively used by the IDF, are illegal in nature," the statement added.

This week's evacuation follows a similar exercise in November, when hundreds of Palestinians in the Jordan Valley were ordered from their homes ahead of a military exercise in the area, which is designated a closed military zone.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says Israel has designated around 18 percent of the West Bank as closed military zones, an area roughly equal in size to Area A, the 17.7 percent of the West Bank under Palestinian Authority control.

Around 5,000 Palestinians live in Israeli military firing zones in the West Bank, UNOCHA says. Since 2010, Israel has demolished the homes of 820 Palestinians located in firing zones.

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srael To Displace 1000 Palestinians Next Wednesday

by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies

Head of the Wadi Al-Maleh area, in the northern plains of the occupied West Bank, Aref Daraghma, stated that the Israeli army intends to displace around 10000 Palestinian Bedouins in the area in order to conduct military training.

Daraghma said that the Israeli army handed written military orders to the residents stating that they should leave as the soldiers will be using live ammunition in military drills in the area, the Palestine News Network (PNN) reported.

He added that the grazing area, inhabited by the shepherds, includes Wadi Al-Maleh, Ein Al-Hilwa, Al-Faw Valley, Al-Meeta, Al-Borj, and other villages.

The army informed the residents that they have until the morning of this coming Wednesday before the army conducts its trainings in the northern plains.

Israel performed similar military drills in the areas last summer forcing dozens of families to leave their homes seeking shelter in other areas until all drills were concluded.

Thousands of Palestinians have been displaced and repeatedly removed from the area since Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967. Israel also demolished dozens of entire villages inhabited by Bedouins and shepherds.

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Israel Orders Families in Jordan Valley to Leave Homes

JORDAN VALLEY, December 31, 2012 (WAFA) – The Israeli military ordered more than 1000 Palestinians living in the Jordan Valley to leave their homes for 48 hours to allow the army to conduct military exercise in that area, an official said Monday.
Aref Daragmeh, head of Wadi al-Maleh village council, told WAFA that the army informed the famlies living in Wadi al-Maleh, Ein Hilwa, Wadi al-Faw and al-Burj to leave their homes by Wednesday because the army wants to conduct military training in their area.

The famlies, he said, have no place to go to and so they will be living in open areas in this cold winter until they will be allowed to return to their homes Thursday night.
This is not the first time these families, which are mainly children, women and old men, have been forced to leave their homes to make room for army traning, said Daragmeh.
The exercises are carried out with live ammunition, which usually frighten the residents, he said.

The army carries out its exercise in the Palestinian populated areas only as part of an intentional policy to force local residents to eventually leave their homes and land and relocate somewhere else.
Israel wants to empty the Jordan Valley, which makes around 40% of the West Bank area, from its Palestinian inhabitants with a goal to take it over and eventually annex it to Israel.

M.H./M.S.


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