Extensive military training becoming the norm for Jordan Valley communities
For many years Israeli military training has been conducted in and around Palestinian communities in the Jordan Valley, and the sight of training camps in the hills of the northern Jordan Valley, where many Palestinians live and graze their sheep, was becoming a normal experience.
The occupation has long justified this by placing concrete blocks on the roadside near all Palestinian communities, claiming the land as closed military zones.
However, 2015 has seen a further escalation of this harassment of local farmers and their families.
In early May there was extensive training, with temporary camps set up all over the northern Jordan Valley, exercises conducted right next to Palestinian homes, and constant movement of military vehicles on all the roads in the area. Many villages were forced to evacuate to make way for the training, and many lost their lambs and had their land set on fire to as a result.
Another period of training by the occupation forces on 11th June families.
Jordan Valley Solidarity has received reports from three separate communities receiving orders to evacuate their homes and land:
- Families from Humsa Fouqa have been given orders to evacuate their homes between 10th and 16th June from 1pm to 6pm
- 27 families in Hammamat Al Maleh have been given orders to evacuate their homes on 11th and 17th June from 6.30am to 12.30pm
- Muthkal Fayez Daraghme from Khirbet Yarza was told that he and his family cannot be in or anywhere near their home on 22nd and 25th of June.
On 12th June vast areas of land near the Jordan river we set fire to, and on 14th June the fires were still burning.
On Tuesday 16th June the occupation forces uprooted Palestibnian trees which covered an area of 300 dunums in Al Maleh. this is an area frequently used for military training and where there is a clear policy by occupation forces to drive people from their land.
The military training is yet another tactic in the occupations’ catalogue of repression of Palestinian communities in the Jordan Valley designed to drive Palestinians away and ethnically cleanse the area. For each family affected by the military training this is not an isolated incident, but part of a long process that they are enduring.
Jordan Valley Solidarity interviewed Muthkal Fayez Daraghme in Kirbet Yarza on 16th June when he contacted us about the evacuation order that had been served on his family. He told us that the Israeli Military have stolen half of his farming land for military training and have declared it a closed military and open fire zone. He has been displaced from his original house which has been demolished and now lives 1km down the road in makeshift temporary housing where he is forced to use tents and old corrugated iron.
Muthkal has been served a notice that no one will be allowed to be on his farm or anywhere near his home at any time on the 22nd and 25th of June due to military training in the area.
*Under the Oslo Accords 60% of the West Bank was designated as Area C, giving Israel full civil and military control of the area.