The Israeli army, on Sunday, reportedly conducted military drills across different parts of the northern Jordan Valley area to the east of Tubas, according to an official.
Aref Daraghmeh, an expert on settlements and Israeli violations, informed WAFA that Israeli army forces Palestinians living in the eastern part of Tubas out of their homes almost on a daily basis, under the pretext of conducting military drills in the area.
To be noted, the army usually conducts drills in the occupied West Bank, especially in the Jordan Valley; Palestinian families often receive notices ordering them to leave their homes for various periods until the drills are over.
“It is extremely difficult for whole families, including children, to be evacuated on such short notice. With no properly arranged place to stay, they must find a way to ensure shelter, food and drink away from home in the intense, grueling heat of the Jordan Valley,” said B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights center.
According to B’Tselem, “The Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea make up approximately 30% of the West Bank and are the most significant Palestinian land reserves.”
Since 1967, Israel has pursued various measures to annex this territory de facto. It has prevented the development of Palestinian communities, systematically destroyed homes in Palestinian Bedouin communities, denied access to water and strictly ed Palestinians’ freedom of movement, noted the center.
B’Tselem said, “The frequent evacuations force residents to put their lives on hold. The evoke fear and uncertainty and involve a great deal of inconvenience.”
“In each such evacuation, the families must abandon their homes and some of their property. They must take along mattresses, blankets, and food and water for themselves and their livestock. They have to leave with their children and flocks and find shelter from the weather elsewhere.”
It was noted that some of the evacuations took place during severe winter weather conditions. In some cases, the military training sessions damaged residents’ cultivated fields.
B’Tselem called on Israel to stop such actions, stating that, “Israel must immediately stop the temporary evacuation of Palestinian communities in the West Bank for the purpose of military training, and must cease all other actions taken in an attempt to force Palestinians out of the area.”
Palestinians living in these areas have to also 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.
In 2014, three Palestinians were killed by unexploded ordnance left by Israeli forces in the West Bank’s Jordan Valley, while Gaza remains plagued with unexploded ordnance following the most recent Israeli aggression.
OCHA Protection of Civilian report, reporting period: 30 September – 13 October 2014, said that, “On 22 October 2014, a four-year-old child was killed when a [unexploded ordnance] UXO exploded east of Beit Hanoun, Gaza.
“The presence of unexploded ordnance (UXOs) continues to pose a high risk to civilians, particularly children. Following the July-August hostilities, the risk of UXO and Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) became significantly high.”
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