JORDAN VALLEYS, Tuesday, February 12, 2019 (WAFA) – Israeli authorities Tuesday morning ordered about 50 Palestinian families in the Jordan Valleys to leave their homes to make way for military drills, said a local activist.
Speaking in an interview for Voice of Palestine radio station, Motaz Bsharat, who monitors Israeli violations in the Jordan Valley, said that Israeli forces notified about 50 families to leave their homes in the Jordan Valley tomorrow, Wednesday, to make way for the drills.
He added that approximately 300 Palestinians will become homeless in the cold weather as a result of the military drills, that usually cause damages to the area and pose danger to residents’ lives.
Highlighting efforts to survey damages to farmlands a week ago, Bsharat noted that military drills resulted in the destruction of 600 dunums of land cultivated with various crops and the leveling of 140 other dunums.
Considered the most significant Palestinian land reserves, the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea make up approximately a third of the West Bank, with 88 percent of its land classified as Area C, under full Israeli military control, and at least 44 percent appropriated by Israeli forces for military exercises.
Almost all Palestinian communities in the region rely in their livelihood on grazing flocks and growing crops on land next to their homes. Extensive damage to farmland and grazing areas due to gunfire and the passage of tanks and military vehicles through the fields jeopardizes the communities’ ability to survive in the area.
Palestinian residents of the Jordan Valley regularly face evacuation to Israeli military exercises on or near their land. They say Israel is trying to push them out of their land to eventually take it over to build Jewish settlements.