The Al-Maleh and the Bedouin Tribes Village Council in the Jordan Valley reported that Israeli soldiers started, on Monday evening, the eviction of dozens of Bedouin families in the area in preparation to conduct military training.The council said that the army distributed, two days ago, dozens of written military orders in Hammamat al-Maleh, Al-Meeta, Al-Borj, Um Aj-Jmal, Wadi Al-Fau, Khirbit Samra and Ar-Ras Al-Ahmar demanding the Bedouins to leave, and threatened to remove them by force and to confiscate their tents, property and livestock.

The council added that the residents left their areas in order to avoid forced removal and arrest, and were left in the cold.

It also said that dozens of children in these tribes already suffer malnutrition and several health issues due to Israeli restrictions that prevent the entry of relief workers and medications into the area under the pretext of being a “closed military zone”.

Aref Daraghma, head of the Wadi Al-Maleh Village Council, stated that Israel is conducting a deliberate policy that aims at the removal of the residents, and that the continued displacement of Bedouin families and tribes is directly affecting the residents, especially the children.

He added that the residents have no other option but to leave as Israeli tanks and heavy equipment just roll into the area so that the army can conduct its military drills.

Daraghma further stated that the army choses to conduct training in Bedouin areas as it wants to stay away from Israeli settlements in the Jordan valley, and added that even when the army concludes its training, it leaves behind spent explosives and shells an issue that poses direct threat on the life and safety of the children and the residents.

In January, the Israeli army started drills using live ammunition in several Palestinian villages in the southern West bank city of Hebron.

The training was held despite a preliminary High Court ruling preventing the army from conducting training near Palestinian civilian areas.

Residents of Janba, Tabban and Al-Markaz, south of Hebron, filed an appeal to the Israeli court demanding it to issue a ruling against the drills, and asking the court to charge the army with contempt of court for violating its previous ruling.

Israel justifies its actions by issuing military orders declaring certain areas as “Fire Zones”, using the fact that its laws in the occupied West Bank do not recognize dozens of Bedouin villages and tribes.


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