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Israel army forces 16 Palestinian families out of their homes to conduct military drills

Israeli army take part in military drill exercises [FlickR]
Israeli army take part in military drill exercises [FlickR]

Israeli occupation forces ordered 16 Palestinian families in the Jordan Valley region of the West Bank to leave their homes to allow the military to conduct drills in the area.

According to a report by Palestinian news agency WAFA, citing a local official, soldiers forced out the families in Khirbit Ibziq, east of Tubas.

Mutaz Bisharat, of the Tubas governorate, said the 16 families, made up of about 80 people, were ordered "to leave their homes from seven in the morning [today] until six in the evening on Monday and go elsewhere as the military carries out training with live ammunition".

WAFA noted that "Palestinians accuse the army of conducting military exercises near their homes in order to eventually kick them out and take over their land for settlement purposes."

Read: Joint Israel-US military drill begins

"Israeli military officials have already admitted that the purpose of these exercises is to push Palestinians out of the Jordan Valley," the agency added.

Earlier this month, Israeli human rights group B'Tselem described such training as "part of Israel's longstanding policy aimed at driving Palestinian communities out of the area".

Instead of openly loading residents onto trucks and removing them, Israel is going to great lengths to create impossible living conditions that will, eventually, push them to leave the area, seemingly of their own accord

the NGO stated.

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