Israel Orders 4 Jordan Valley Families to Leave Temporarily for Military Drills
In early May the Israeli Occupation carried out major military training in the northern Jordan Valley from Fasayil to the north of Bardala. Hundreds of local Palestinians were evacuated fro their homes, new-born lambs died for lack of shelter, hillsides were burnt, and there was the repeated sounds of military jets and helicopters overhead, accompaied by explosions in the hills.There were tanks, military jeeps and trucks on all the local roads, and temporary bases set up. The long term impact from unexploded munitions is yet to be known, but it is a very real fear for local residents.
However, the end of this major training exercise, does not mean that the military presence and evacuations have ended. There are many military bases in the Jordan Valley and army exercises are a frequent part of the landscape.
This week, families from Ibziq have once again been forced to leave their homes, as reported by WAFA news service:
NABLUS, May 25, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli army on Monday ordered four families living in Wadi Ibzeeq, in al-Maleh local council in northern Jordan Valley, to leave their homes for six hours on Tuesday in order to conduct military training in the area, according to a local source.
Head of the village council of al-Maleh, Aref Daraghmeh, said an Israeli army force broke into the village and handed four families notices ordering them to leave their homes from 6:00 AM until 12:00 PM, to make way for military training.
According to Daraghmeh, more than 20 Palestinian families living in Wadi Ibzeeq were forced to leave their homes for more than 15 times since the beginning of this year.
Israel is planning to annex the Jordan Valley into a completely Israeli area, primarily in agriculture, targeting to ban territorial contiguity between a future Palestinian state and the rest of the Arab world.
In May 2014, a senior Israeli army officer reported that military training in live-fire zones in the West Bank “is used as a way of reducing the number of Palestinians living nearby, and serves as an important part of the campaign against Palestinian illegal construction.”
Col. Einav Shalev also described the Israeli army policy of confiscating humanitarian equipment destined for Palestinians whose homes have been destroyed as ‘a punch in the right places’.
“Meanwhile, World Bulletin news reported that, “The Israeli army usually conducts drills in the occupied West Bank, especially in the Jordan Valley, which is often accompanied by the forced displacement of dozens of local Palestinian families due to the proximity of their homes to the training sites.”
“Palestinians often worry about unexploded ordnance left behind by the Israeli army after the drills, which have led to the death of many Palestinians, including children, over the past years,” it said.