Israeli occupation forces have launched a military exercise around Tayaseer, a village near the West Bank city of Tubas in the northern Jordan Valley, Wafa news agency has reported.
According to the head of Tayaseer Village Council, Wajeeh Dabk, large numbers of Israeli tanks and other military vehicles have been deployed around the village for the manoeuvres. Villagers were not warned about this in advance, he insisted.
The local people are complaining that the drills will set fire to large tracts of farmland and property in the northern Jordan Valley, which will result in substantial losses. This is nothing new. Palestinians in the occupied valley face frequent house demolitions and property seizures at the hands of the army.
Israel has transferred at least 11,000 of its Jewish citizens to the Jordan Valley since 1967 when it occupied the West Bank. Some of the settlements in which they live are built almost entirely on private Palestinian land. All such population transfers and settlements are illegal under international law.
Dabk added that the Israeli military has also designated about 46 per cent of the Jordan Valley as a closed military zone since 1967. The occupation forces use the excuse of manoeuvres to displace families living in the area as part of the government's policy of ethnic cleansing and the stifling of Palestinian development.