Israeli occupation authorities yesterday delivered eviction notices to four Palestinian families near the village of Khirbet Al-Yirza, east of Tubas in the Jordan Valley region of the occupied West Bank, under the pretext of conducting military operations.
According to human rights activist, Aref Daraghmeh, Israeli authorities handed over eviction notices to Faysal Masaid, Ismail Masaid, Jamal Daraghmeh and Muhammad Daraghmeh, ordering them to leave their tents and homes.
The notices had a schedule of the planned times Israeli forces would conduct military operations in the area; Monday from 4pm to 6am, Thursday from 4pm to 6am, and Tuesday 14 August from 4pm until 6am on Thursday 15 August.
Daraghmeh mentioned that Israeli forces had demolished the homes of the four Palestinian families several years ago.
Palestinian residents of the Jordan Valley regularly face evacuations due to Israeli military exercises on or near their land.
The district of Tubas is one of the occupied West Bank’s most important agricultural centres.
The majority of the Jordan Valley is under full Israeli military control, despite being within the occupied West Bank. At least 44 per cent of the total area of the Jordan Valley has been reappropriated by Israeli occupation forces for military purposes and training exercises.
According to the Palestinian nonprofit the Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem (ARIJ), more than 400,000 dunams (98,842 acres) of the 720,000 dunams (177,916 acres) that make up the total area of the Jordan Valley has been transformed into closed military and firing zones, with at least 27,000 dunams (6,672 acres) confiscated for illegal Israeli settlement building.
The Israeli rights group B’Tselem has emphasized the detrimental effects such training exercises have on communities that are dependent on farming and shepherding. “B’Tselem’s research has found that over the course of the military manoeuvre, ten sheep and goats died in the evacuated communities. In addition, ammunition remnants from the military training caused fires.”
Israeli military training exercises in the Jordan Valley have increased dramatically since 2012 and are one of many tools used to forcibly displace rural Palestinian communities, NGO Jordan Valley Solidarity says, part of an historic process of creeping annexation of the valley by Israel’s military.