Israel forces Palestinians from homes ahead of war drill

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Al-Akhbar Management

Published Monday, December 31, 2012

Israeli forces have delivered evacuation orders to around 100 Palestinian families in the northern Jordan Valley ahead of a military training exercise, a local official said Monday.

The evacuation affects around 1,000 Palestinians living in rural communities who reside in Wadi al-Maleh, Ain Hilwa, Wadi al-Faw and al-Burj, local mayor Arif Daraghma told Palestinian media.

They must leave their homes by Wednesday for 48 hours, or they will be subject to penalties, he added.

Israel’s army forced several families from their homes in the northern Jordan Valley earlier this month for a similar exercise.

Hundreds of others were also pushed out their homes for a two-day military exercise in November.

Israel has designated the Jordan Valley a “closed military zone.”

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says Israel has designated around 18 percent of the West Bank as closed military zones, an area roughly equal in size to Area A, the 17.7 percent of the West Bank under Palestinian Authority control.

Around 5,000 Palestinians live in Israeli military firing zones in the West Bank, UNOCHA says. Since 2010, Israel has demolished the homes of 820 Palestinians located in firing zones.

(Ma’an, Al-Akhbar)

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