Further military training planned in Al Maleh area
UPDATE 10/6/15: JVS have just heard that Palestinian community of Humsa Fouqa have also been given orders by Israeli Occupation Forces to evauate their homes between 10th and 16th June from 1pm to 6pm to make way for military training excercises.
Occupation forces continue to exploit Palestinian villages and land in the Jordan Valley as their military training ground. In doing so, they not only damage crops but also threaten the lives of the people living in this area and their animals.
On 8th June 2015 Israeli Occupation forces issued notices to 27 families in the community of Hammamat Al Maleh. These state that the families must evacuate their homes on 11th and 17th June from 6.30am to 12.30pm, in order for military training exercises to be carried out on their land. This is not an isolated incident, and the residents of Hammamat Al Maleh have had to evacuate their homes at least three times in the past to make way for military exercises.
Jordan Valley Solidarity are calling on all our supporters around the world to immediately contact their elected representatives and insist that action is taken to protect the civilian population of the Jordan Valley.
The Israeli Occupation army treats the whole Jordan Valley as its training ground. It has several locations in the valley that are effectively permanent training areas and Al Maleh is one of these. They carry out training exercises here on a regular basis, causing great duress to the local civilian population.
In addition to these semi-permanent training grounds, in any week of the year there are hundreds of troops establishing temporary bases in the hills, and running training exercises with absolute disregard for any families that may be living nearby. Palestinian communities are given little notice and are forced to evacuate their homes at the whim of the military. The effects of the evacuation extend beyond the hours that they are expelled from their homes, as it creates a perpetual feeling of insecurity.
So far, in 2015, there have been three military training exercises that have involved the forced evacuation of Palestinian families from their homes and villages:
- 19th January: 19 families were evacuated from Ibziq in Al Maleh area
- 3rd – 10th May: Families were evacuated from Humsa, Ibziq, Hammamat Al Maleh, and Furush Beit Dejan. Hundreds of armed jeeps, tanks, and soldiers have been deployed in villages throughout the Jordan Valley. During which, Palestinian land and crops were set fire to, families were threatened with house demolitions and expelled from their homes for hours each day.
- 26th May 2015: 4 families evacuated from Ibziq, also in Al Maleh area
Rashid Khudairi, co-ordinator of Jordan Valley Solidarity has called for immediate action to end the military training. Speaking on 8th June 2015, having visited the families in Hammamat Al Maleh who have been threatened with eviction, he said:
“The occupation forces are carrying out military training in their villages and on their land, in direct contravention of international law, and the Palestinian people of the Jordan Valley feel abandoned. We are calling on the European Union and all its member states to take immediate action to stop the military training and ensure the civilian population of the Jordan Valley is protected.”
The area of Hammamat Al Maleh has changed drastically since the West Bank was occupied began in 1967. Hammamat Al Maleh is an ancient Palestinian spa with natural springs, which was once a thriving tourist resort. Today it resembles little of its former self, with the natural springs having been turned into a trickle of water, the old hotel is derelict, and the palm trees struggle to survive due to the lack of water in the area. In spite of repeated onslaughts from the military, whether it is evacuations for military training or the frequent demolition of homes, the Palestinian community continue struggling to live in the area.