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IDF displaces 10 Palestinian families to conduct military drills

The IDF orders Palestinian residents from the northern Jordan Valley to evacuate their own homes in order to make way for military drills, which have previously damaged farmland and infrastructure.

Israeli army watches the destroyed village of Khirbet Makhoul, Jordan Valley, West Bank, November 01, 2013. Khirbet Makhoul has been demolished four times in October, 2013 by the Israeli army, who also prevented humanitarian aid organizations from delivering tents and other materials to residents. (Photo: Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

Israeli army watches the destroyed village of Khirbet Makhoul, Jordan Valley, West Bank, November 01, 2013. Khirbet Makhoul has been demolished four times in October, 2013 by the Israeli army, who also prevented humanitarian aid organizations from delivering tents and other materials to residents. (Photo: Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

The Israeli army evacuated 10 families in the community of Khirbet Humsah in the northern Jordan Valley on Wednesday morning, according to the Israeli human rights NGO B’Tselem. The evacuation was ordered so that the military could conduct training exercises near to the families’ homes, on land owned by the residents of the community.

B’Tselem further reports that the families were requested to leave at 6 a.m., and only allowed to return seven hours later. According to the families involved, upon their return they found some of their land burnt and discovered bullet holes in some of their water tanks. Unexploded ammunition was also found in the area, residents reported.

Of the 10 families ordered to evacuate, B’Tselem reports that eight of them were displaced only a month ago, during extensive military training drills that lasted several days and displaced dozens of families. Those affected on Wednesday will once again be required to leave their homes at 6 a.m. on June 16 for the army to conduct further exercises.

Wednesday also saw three other communities in the area served with evacuation orders in order to make way for military drills, B’Tselem’s report continues. The communities’ 180 residents – more than 100 of them children – will have to evacuate between 6:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on June 11 and 17, respectively.

The IDF’s repeated harassment of Palestinian residents of the Jordan Valley for the sake of training exercises is just one of the many challenges they face. The majority of the Jordan Valley (which makes up 30 percent of the occupied territories) is designated Area C, which is under full Israeli military and administrative control. Ninety-five percent of this area is under the control of Israeli settlements and regional councils, in addition to various areas which have been designated either “state lands,” closed military zones (including firing areas) or nature reserves.

Israeli army tanks in the northern part of the Jordan Valley during extensive military drills in the area, May 4th. (Jordan Valley Solidarity)

Israeli army tanks in the northern part of the Jordan Valley during extensive military drills in the area, May 4th. (Jordan Valley Solidarity)

In addition, villages located within the Area C territory of the Jordan Valley are vulnerable to demolition orders, and several communities undergo repeated demolitions.

The issue of planning permission for Palestinians in Area C made it to the Supreme Court last year. It was hoped that a petition to grant planning authority to Palestinian villages to build on their own land would pass, ending decades of discrimination in this matter. On Tuesday, however, the Court rejected the appeal [Hebrew], leaving Area C Palestinians with little to no say over development of their land.

Given the Israeli government’s creeping annexation of the Jordan Valley, none of these issues are expected to receive any kind of a just resolution in the foreseeable future. The Israeli army’s training exercises, with all their attendant ruin, will also persist and are likely to intensify. In May 2014, Col. Einav Shalev of the Central Command – the section of the Israeli army responsible for units in the West Bank – confirmed to a Knesset committee that such live fire military drills in Area C are aimed at driving Palestinians out. Between government policy and military activity, the ethnic cleansing of the Jordan Valley is set to continue.

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    COMMENTS

    1. Whiplash

      The poor, poor Palestinians have to leave their homes for a few hours while soldiers who must serve 3 years in the army and do reserve duty thereafter train so that harm against all is prevented.

      Of course if the Palestinian Arabs had accepted peace and two states for two people in 1937, 1947, 1956, 1965, 1967, 1977, 2000, 2001, 2008 or 2014 there would be no need for military training exercises.

      Reply to Comment
      • Weinstein

        Palestinians had to leave their homes decades ago in the Nakba, you hasbara clown

        Reply to Comment
        • Pedro X

          The Palestinians had a choice. The Jews had a choice. The Jews chose partition and peace which would have required not one Jew or Palestinian Arab to leave his home. The Arabs chose war, a war to extinguish the emerging Jewish state and its people.

          The Jews chose to stand and defend their homes and country. The Palestinians chose to flee, they had other homes and countries to go to. Palestinian villages stood alone and did not come to each other’s aid. Even in localities were they held a much superior position, as in Safed, the Palestinian Arabs fled from advancing Jewish forces. Of course the Palestinians were only following the leaders of the Palestinian Arabs who were almost entirely situated outside of Mandate Palestine. The Palestinians started an existential war which they were ill prepared to fight. When they lost the war, many of the Palestinians found themselves on the outside looking into Israel and they were not invited back.

          Reply to Comment
          • Weinstein

            Jews lost to the Romans and fled, many many centuries ago. And nobody invited them back.
            But I know, completely differnt, superior people, some god folk gave you the land in old fairytales yaddayadda
            ROFL

            Reply to Comment
        • Gustav

          As did up to 1 million Jewish refugees who had to leave their homes and assets behind as a result of the atmosphere of hate your Palestinian Arabs created.

          But pro Arab propaganda clowns don’t want to talk about that, mmmm Weinstein?

          Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        You should never apply for a professional Hasbara job. You’re really bad at it. This achievement of yours is what’s known in the sports world as an own goal. Keep your day job.

        Reply to Comment
    2. Yeah, Right

      Remind me again why the IDF has to conduct such “military drills” in the West Bank, when it is perfectly capable of carrying out such drills inside Israel.

      After all, I don’t see the US Army “drilling” inside Mexico, not when it has New Mexico to play soldiers in…..

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        Last I heard, the USA and Mexico are not in a state of war with one another. Nor are it’s armed forces present anywhere in Mexico.

        On the other hand, the WB is under the military control of the IDF and Israel has been in a state of war with the Palestinian Arabs for the last 100 years.

        Spot the difference?

        Reply to Comment
        • Gustav

          To be exact, The Jews of Palestine have been in a state of war with the Arabs of Palestine from around the 1920s and this war continued after the creation of Israel in 1948. Overall, that is nearly 100 years of war.

          I issued this qualification because [Yeah Right] is likely to seize this as an distinction, even thugh in reality, war is war. We the Jews of Palestine have been at war with the Arabs of Palestine first as Palestinians (a civil war) and subsequently as Israelis.

          Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          You’re a tireless obfuscator and one-note Charlie. No, US armed forces are not present anywhere in Mexico. The US is not occupying Mexico.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            You’re very tiresome and concrete. No, you “demonstrated” no such thing and this is a remarkable ad hominem attack, your chasing me around this site shouting “lookie here at what I demonstrated you wascally wabbit! Look! look! Look! Liar! Liar!” Half the time when someone doesn’t respond to you it’s because they know it will go nowhere except the same tiresomely, stubbornly pressed automatic talking points. Are you just getting more tedious and nastier as Israel’s position deteriorates?

            I “lied” about nothing and you “demonstrated”nothing. I totally disagree with you on your interpretations of this sordid episode in Netanyahu’s endless games of pretendies regarding peace making. We’ve been over this at least twice. As I thought I told you, Netanyahu “offered” nothing, he blocked the return that Abbas requested–into the West Bank that Israel professes to want to withdraw from some glorious day–by cynically and rather sadistically using the plight of these refugees to set a condition that itself violated international law on refugees, and that he fully knew ahead of time was a precedent-setting political condition Abbas absolutely could not hope to meet except in the context of successful final status negotiations in which he could go to his people and say in so many words “this is what I got in return.” And you well know that Gustav. So who is really the dishonest one here? This trick by Netanyahu is best seen as a particularly awful form of blackmail.

            This nonsense of yours from a citizen of the country whose leaders never fail to insist that there be no “preconditions” or “concessions ahead of time” because “we don’t give up bargaining chips or establish precedents that the other side can manipulate ahead of negotiations. We are not freiers!” Another basic skill of a negotiator is to be able to put yourself in the other side’s shoes and see what their leaders can and can’t concede ahead of time and to know what is a genuine offer versus an offer the other side cannot accept ahead of negotiations. It’s called empathy.

            All this episode did is reveal the cynicism and bad faith of the Israeli right wing extremist faction that has Israel in its grip. The nerve of you to call me a liar. Did you call GrandeGatto a liar when he absolutely, cynically, deviously, made up that “Jewish mafia” quote”? Guys like GrandeGatto can be real bastards and they’re never held to account it’s just given a pass. What hypocrites. Get a grip. Now stop chasing me around. Wabbit hunting season is over.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            The only thing that is tiresome Benny is your attitude.

            You are here for two reasons…

            1. To malign Israel.
            2. To whitewash the Palestinian Arabs.

            …and you are not letting any facts stand in your way.

            PS and this bit in your above post gives you away. You are using multiple personas on this site.

            “…you wascally wabbit!…”

            Classic Brian. He used to use that silly phrase. It isn’t the only thing that gives you away. Your whole approach does. But that phrase puts it beyond reasonable doubt.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            The people who actually are posting under all the many names you’ve accused me of posting under know that your accusations are false. That’s good enough for me. Medications only work if you take them! Bye!

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            BEN:”[conditions] Abbas absolutely could not hope to meet except in the context of successful final status negotiations in which he could go to his people and say in so many words “this is what I got in return.”

            Utter nonsense Benny. The context was the savings of the lives of Palestinian Arab refugees who were under threat from ISIS. That is what he could show his people if they would ask what he got in return. You call that nothing? Saving their lives is nothing? But you think in final status negotions he would be willing to compromise?

            Interesting though that even on that you are studiously ignoring his reaction to Condi Rice when she outlined Olmert’s peace offer in 2008. She said in her published memoirs that he immediately started to quibble by bringing up the so called “right of return” and there were plenty of things in Olmert’s offer which he could say to his people “look what I got”. You keep on avoiding that too, Benny or Brian or whatever other alias you use.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            For the record.

            I called you a liar because you pointed me to Ami Kaufman’s link and pretended that it addressed the point that I was making. It did NOT!!! It did not say anything like this …

            “….except in the context of successful final status negotiations in which he could go to his people and say in so many words “this is what I got in return.”

            You only made this point here yourself after I pressed the point about your dishonesty. But even on that score you are wrong because you are pretending that the saving of lives of Palestinian Arabs who were under threat from ISIS is “NOTHING”!

            Reply to Comment
        • Yeah, Right

          Gustav: “On the other hand, the WB is under the military control of the IDF and Israel has been in a state of war with the Palestinian Arabs for the last 100 years.”

          Remind me again why that means that the IDF **must** conduct its military exercises inside an occupied territory, rather than inside its own territory?

          After all, I don’t believe that the Haganah razed ALL the Arab villages inside Israel in 1949……

          Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Remind you? Why exactly should I remind you of anything? I am not your mother.

            Reply to Comment
          • Yeah, Right

            Gustav: “Remind you? Why exactly should I remind you of anything? I am not your mother.”

            *sigh*

            An army seizes a territory.
            That territory has just become “an occupied territory”.
            That army has just become “an army of occupation”.

            Neither fact turns that occupied territory into the plaything of the occupying army.

            It is a given that the IDF has
            a) **this** occupied territory in which to conduct its “military drills”
            and it also has
            b) **that** Israeli territory in which to conduct those same “military drills”
            and it is demonstrably true that:
            c) both territories are right next to each other.

            Sooooo, I’ll ask again: what reason, exactly, is there for the IDF to carry out those drills inside the West Bank rather than inside Israel itself?

            I don’t think that there is any good reason at all for Israel to choice the former over the later.

            Do you? Or don’t you?

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            [Yeah Right]:”I don’t think…”

            On that we both agree [Yeah Right]. You don’t think.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Soooooooo, [Yeah Right], you DID say you live in Australia, didn’t you?

            Remind me again, have all of Australia’s social problems been solved? What do you think about how your Aborigines live? Have you been thinking about THEIR problems lately?

            Nah, you obviously haven’t because you spend all your waking hours on this site worrying about “the poor Palestinians” who have been making war on us for nearly 100 years and who still don’t want to sign a peace deal.

            Soooooo, [Yeah Right], you wanna tell me? Why do you think that as an Australian, the welfare of a war like people like the Palestinian Arabs is more important to you than the welfare of the native people of Australia? The welfare of the Aboriginals of Australia? Why don’t we talk about that for a change, eh, [Yeah Right]?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Um, because this website is devoted to exactly the topic Yeah Right is staying on topic about. Unlike you who are having a major whataboutery fit and surly butt out of our occupation fit. It’s absolutely amazing and obnoxious the behavior we have to put up with on this site. Ellen is 100% right about this. But the remarkable thing to me is how you folks don’t get how bad this makes right wing Israel look when you behave like this. Along now will come BigCat to call me a psychotic moron with a sexual problem. You think THAT endears anyone to Israelis?

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            No, my dear lying Benny, I am not having a major whatteboutery fit…

            I am just trying to learn from Australians like [Yeah Right] and Americans like you about what you people do about social injustices in your own countries.

            But it seems that I can learn nothing from people like you and [Yeah Right] because you people seem to care nothing about what happens to the disadvantaged in your own homes. It seems you’d rather spend all your times here on sites like these, trying to preach to us without listening to what we have to say.

            I just think there is something sick about that. Don’t you, Benny dear? To spend all your waking lives obsessing about what is happening half way around the world from you while ignoring your own disadvantaged.

            Alternatively, could it be that you have no social conscience at all and you are just paid agitators? I guess if it’s the latter, then I certainly am not answerable to the likes of you lot, right Benny?

            So which is it Benny? Are you a neglectful person who does not care about what happens in your own home? Or are you a paid agitator? Either way, I owe you nothing, least of all explanations.

            Of course, once you demonstrate that you are capable of having a serious conversation instead of being a compulsive manipulator of facts and an outright liar, come back and we will try To have a more sensible conversation. In the meanwhile though, you will not be the one who sets the tone. You will put up with what I have to say to you instead. Ok, Benny dear?

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            For the record Benny, have you thought of a satisfactory explanation about why you chose to lie on that other thread? Here, let me refresh your mind about it…

            For the record.

            I called you a liar because you pointed me to Ami Kaufman’s link and pretended that it addressed the point that I was making. It did NOT!!! It did not say anything like this …

            “….except in the context of successful final status negotiations in which he could go to his people and say in so many words “this is what I got in return.”

            You only made this point here yourself after I pressed the point about your dishonesty. But even on that score you are wrong because you are pretending that the saving of lives of Palestinian Arabs who were under threat from ISIS is “NOTHING”!

            Reply to Comment
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