Is Israel finally pushing Palestinians out of the Jordan Valley? — Over 1,000 evacuated from Jordan Valley villages for Israeli military exercise

on 14 Comments

Ma’an reports:

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.

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14 Responses

  1. seafoid
    November 9, 2012, 1:07 pm

    I always try to imagine the outcry if what the Palestinians have to endure was the fate of a similar number of Jews. Imagine 1000 Jews in north London being evacuated from their homes because the neo fascist British National Front was in town. But it’s very hard to imagine.

    • Mooser
      November 9, 2012, 1:41 pm

      ” Imagine 1000 Jews in north London being evacuated from their homes because”

      Imsgine 1000 settlers being evacuated from their illegal dwellings, and their illegal activities.

      • seafoid
        November 9, 2012, 5:11 pm

        Imagine 1000 settlers leaving overnight because the political wind shifted. Yes we can!

      • Mooser
        November 10, 2012, 1:04 pm

        “Imagine 1000 settlers leaving overnight because the political wind shifted.”

        If they can fight their way out from the IDF encirclement, that is.

  2. Annie Robbins
    November 9, 2012, 1:27 pm

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

    palestinian villages are now defined as military zones? is obama going to sit there while thousands are ‘evacuated’. is this the preferred form of ethnic cleansing? just send an order and they pack up and leave? this is so gross i can’t stand it.

    i’m sending a tweet to the state department.

  3. JohnAdamTurnbull
    November 9, 2012, 2:20 pm

    Isn’t this a significant step for the US forces? Of course, the US funds the Israeli military whose day job is to protect settlers as they move into the West Bank. But until now, US forces have not been directly involved.

    What’s the potential legal implications of direct participation in occupation — and possibly ethnic cleansing?

    • Annie Robbins
      November 9, 2012, 3:40 pm

      whoa john,i had to open the link to find what you were talking about

      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.

      • JohnAdamTurnbull
        November 9, 2012, 6:10 pm

        Not sure I know what I’m talking about, but surely there is some legal distinction between affecting civilian life during warfare, and simply shoving them around (or completely away) for the sake of training.

        Maybe the thousands of US troops who are there will be glued to video screens and unaware of the ugly reality of forcing people out of their homes. But their commanders must be wondering what they’ve become part of.

      • Mooser
        November 10, 2012, 1:06 pm

        “But their commanders must be wondering what they’ve become part of.”

        Gosh, does somebody have a pretty goddamed elitest view of the relative moral and political perceptions of enlisted men and officers? You might want to look at that.
        Sounds like you’re expecting the officers to be to the left of the enlisted men. Dream on.

  4. seafoid
    November 9, 2012, 5:30 pm

    And If Islamic Jihad tell the people of Sderot to get out of town for 2 days while they refine their rocket targeting what happens?

    Surely what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

  5. mcohen
    November 9, 2012, 8:16 pm

    strange thing just happened to me-i looked up all the names of the villages listed on google earth and none came up
    i think mossad has erased the names from my google earth -anyone else have the same problem

  6. David Samel
    November 9, 2012, 9:42 pm

    What is most remarkable about this is how unremarkable it is. A foreign military is kicking people out of their homes to conduct military exercises in a place that every other country officially recognizes they do not belong. In what bizarro universe is this acceptable? It would be unimaginable every other place on Earth, but it seems so routine for Israel.

  7. Shmuel
    November 11, 2012, 9:17 am

    A similar exercise was held in the same area about 4 months ago, also evicting hundreds of Palestinians (the very same families?) from their homes for the duration of the exercise. In July, they had to contend with the burning sun and chronic shortage of water (for Palestinians only, intentionally exacerbated by the IDF); now it’s the cold and the rain.

    For some reason, the residents of the nearby settlements (Maskiyot, Rotem, Shadmot Mehola, Mehola, Givat Salit) are never thrown out of their homes for “military exercises” (let alone every four months). I wonder why that is?

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