Since +972 Magazine visited the site earlier this year, the track has been paved — despite an Israeli army order to stop construction. The Israeli military often uses firing zones to displace Palestinians.
Israeli authorities have continued illegally building a state-of-the-art race track in the West Bank, despite IDF stop-work orders issued earlier this year.
In February, +972 Magazine reported that the track was being constructed just north of the Petza’el settlement in the Jordan Valley area of the West Bank, on a large tract of land near Wadi al-Ahmar and Route 505. The only catch: the track is partially inside an IDF live firing zone in the occupied West Bank — a designation Israeli military authorities often use to displace local Palestinian populations.
When +972 Magazine visited the site earlier this year, the area was fenced off, with large mounds of dirt and stacks of metal located on site, including what appeared to be metal bars that will form the overhead to mark the starting point. Since then the track, which is being funded by the Jordan Valley Regional Council, has been fully paved, seemingly in contravention of military orders.
Although Israel rules the West Bank under military law due to its status as occupied territory, Israeli settlers have nevertheless established limited civilian local government institutions, nearly identical to those inside Israel proper, although they are ultimately subordinate to the military government.
According to Micky Yohai, a veteran Israeli racer who is behind the project, the 1.2 kilometer long track was supposed to be ready by May 2016. Ultimately, the track is slated to include a motocross track, a drag strip, and a 3.2 kilometer paved track. In an interview with Ynet last year [Hebrew], Yohai said the project would begin with a dirt track — the first sign of success of a two-year process with the Jordan Valley Regional Council, headed by David Alhayani, who “is strongly pushing the issue.”
Alhayani declined to answer +972 Magazine’s questions on the matter in February. He previously told Ynet that the track would provide athletes with the ideal place to race, making no mention of the fact that it would run through an IDF training zone.
The Israeli army’s Civil Administration, which serves as the military government in the West Bank, told +972 Magazine back in February that it had issued a stop-work order against the track, and acknowledged that the facility was being built...Read More