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Israel evacuates hundreds of Palestinians to conduct army training
Published Friday 09/11/2012 (updated) 12/11/2012 10:50
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TUBAS (Ma'an) -- Hundreds of Palestinians are being evacuated from the northern Jordan Valley to make way for an Israeli military training exercise, local officials told Ma'an.

Villagers received orders this week from the Israeli army to leave their homes for the duration of the exercise, which begins on Sunday.

Aqaba and Yarza village council head Mukhlas Masaid told Ma'an on Wednesday that Ein al-Hilweh, Yarza, Ras al-Ahmar, al-Malih and al-Meiteh villages received orders, displacing a population of 1,000.

Al-Malih and al-Madareb council chief Aref Daraghmeh said 57 families in al-Hamamat, al-Burj and Humsa received the orders.

Further south, 40 families in the Jordan Valley village Khirbet Tana also received orders this week to evacuate while the army conducts training.

Daraghmeh said some families would be permitted to return after a two-day exercise, while others were told to leave their homes permanently.

He said several Israeli departments were working together to pressure Palestinians to leave the Jordan Valley in order to build Jewish settlements and military bases.

Al-Malih resident Abu Mohammad told Ma'an that despite living in the village for decades, he would leave out of fear for his safety. His house had been hit by Israeli artillery before, he said.

Researcher for the Applied Research Institute - Jerusalem Juliet Bannoura said the latest evacuation was part of a campaign since 1967 to remove Palestinians from the Jordan Valley, most of which is designated a closed military zone.

"This is a trick in order to execute a silent and final evacuation," Bannoura told Ma'an.

"Now Israel is completing building of the separation wall in the west, they want to work on the eastern side as well," she said.

A Ma'an reporter witnessed an influx of forces and military equipment into the region.

Settlement monitoring official Ahmad Assad suspected the huge scale and length of the training indicated it was related to joint Israeli-US operations.

Over 3,500 US military personnel arrived in Israel in late October to conduct a joint training exercise hailed as "the largest-ever ballistic missile defense exercise between our nations" by Pentagon spokesman Jack Miller. Austere Challenge 12 is scheduled to run for three weeks.

The Israeli military did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

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.
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1 ) mohamed / somalia
09/11/2012 16:10
israel = the nazi germany.

2 ) mohamed / somalia
09/11/2012 16:11
so where they go?

3 ) Mel / USA
09/11/2012 16:20
B*LLSH*T! "Evacuated" is the term Nazis's used for expelling,'TRANSFERRING',exterminating,displacing,ETHNICALLY CLEANSING, the Jews,Catholics,Commies,Romanies,& any one else NOT considered 'Chosen' or 'Aryan'(white supremacists). DO NOT LEAVE!Or the Zionists will NEVER let you back home,like the Jews in Europe. They want Palestinians driven completely into Egypt & mandate colony Jordan& the King is complicit(?for control of E.Jerusalem!?

4 ) Marco / Mexico
09/11/2012 16:28
International community, where are you? There is a profound law void.

5 ) Muayyad / Palestine
09/11/2012 18:05
Does not bode well...Looks like the Zionist hoodlums are preparing for massive illegal land annexations!

6 ) Bemused / New Zealand
09/11/2012 21:25
and is the international community going to stand idly by, as usual?

7 ) ian / australia
10/11/2012 00:30
Imagine. You're sitting at home, safe and sound...in the US, UK, or in Europe or Australia or Israel... and a letter arrives instructing you to drop everything and GET OUT because a "military training exercise" is being held and your home is in the "firing zone"! After two days, the letter informs, you can move back in...if there's anything left. Imagine. It's IMPOSSIBLE to imagine...or to believe these are the actions of an ally and supposedly decent, modern state. The contempt is breathtaking,

8 ) ian / australia
10/11/2012 00:32
(contd.) for people and for the world...also the duplicity and cynicism: a military campaign, almost Napoleonic, carried out in plain view, to secure the Jordan Valley and encircle and corral the West Bank, and a pogrom, like Deir Yassin, to depopulate a region for absorbtion by Israel...all under cover of essental "military training"! I can only repeat: when the UN designates the West Bank, the WHOLE West Bank, sovereign Palestine, this won't be possible.

9 ) Truth & / Honesty
10/11/2012 00:54
Either there will be a Negotiated Palestinian Statehood Agreement, or a steady flow of others "leaving their homes permanently" will follow, and the Unilateral Palestinian State will just speed this leaving permanently !!!

10 ) Wissam / 1-State
10/11/2012 08:24
#9 No negotiations with European immigrants, ever! Now go back to the ghetto you came from!

11 ) shirley / australia
10/11/2012 08:28
there will be no leaving and look at US fully engaging in this without blink of an eye if Us worried about Isreal hold military training in ISreal not palestine US is encouraging this and DOES not wantr Pal state and is even now joinin g in in displacing pals and pals can fight back once borders locked in and can demand peace keepers and implode illegal genocide wall this is ethnic cleansing nothing else

12 ) Herb / USA
11/11/2012 02:10
This looks to much like the ethnic cleansing in Europe in the 40's. Those who don't learn from the mistakes of history are bound to repeat them. How tragic that those gathered in safety from Nazi predation now are repeating the tactics of their former enemies.

13 ) Ron / USA
13/11/2012 17:34
It is unfathomable that the free world turns a blind eye and continues to let the rape of the Palestinian people continue. Israel is quickly losing the option of a two-state solution- if it has not already done so.
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