This morning, Thursday, 26 March 2020, at around 7:30 am, officials from Israel’s Civil Administration in the West Bank arrived with a military jeep escort, a bulldozer and two flatbed trucks with cranes at the Palestinian community of Khirbet Ibziq in the northern Jordan Valley. They confiscated poles and sheeting that were meant to form eight tents, two for a field clinic, and four for emergency housing for residents evacuated from their homes, and two as makeshift mosques. The force also confiscated a tin shack in place for more than two years, as well as a power generator and sacks of sand and cement. Four pallets of cinder blocks intended for the tent floors were taken away and four others demolished.
In addition to the shocking destruction of the clinic under construction, the Civil Administration is continuing its demolition routine. Today, it demolished three seasonal homes of farmers who are residents of Jerusalem, in the village of ‘Ein a-Duyuk a-Tahta west of Jericho.
Yesterday, Sunday, 13 January 2019, at around 10:00 A.M., Civil Administration personnel arrived with troops, jeeps and tanks at Khirbet Ibziq in the Jordan Valley and ordered 13 families to leave their homes until 6:00 A.M. the next day. The families were forced to walk for more than seven kilometers. This is the fourth temporary displacement pursuant to orders given to the families on 13 December 2018. This particular displacement was scheduled to take place on 31 December 2018, but the Civil Administration told residents it would be postponed the day before. Three days ago, the Civil Administration told residents to report to the Tayasir checkpoint to receive updated orders, claiming mud prevented access to the community. Two days ago, after the residents did not appear, the Civil Administration informed them via the Palestinian DCO that they would have to leave their homes the next day (13 January 2019), to make way for military training.
On the morning of Thursday, 13 December 2018, at around 11 A.M., Civil Administration personnel came with a military jeep escort to the Palestinian community of Khirbet Ibziq in the northern Jordan Valley. They served temporary displacement orders to 13 families – a total of 70 people, including 38 children – citing military training in the area as the pretext. The orders require the families to vacate their homes from 12:00 noon until 6:00 the next morning on 16 December, 23 December, 26 December, and 31 December 2018. In other words, the families must spend the night away from home.
Two of the 13 families were served additional orders, requiring them to vacate their homes also on 17 December 2018 from 12 noon until 4:00 P.M., and on 18 December 2018 from 10:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. Twelve of the 13 families had already been temporarily displaced from their homes in March 2018.
Yesterday (16 December 2018), at around 12:00 noon, military jeeps and tanks arrived in the area, as did Civil Administration personnel who instructed the families to vacate their homes. The families complied. Taking along a portion of their flocks but leaving behind young lambs and kids, the families walked a distance of over 5 kilometers. Some were able to stay with relatives, while others remained outside, exposed to the elements. Today, 17 December 2018, at around 12:00 noon, the Civil Administration returned to Khirbet Ibziq and ordered the two families who had received the additional displacement orders to vacate their homes.
In addition, at around 8:00 A.M. this morning (17 December 2018), Israeli infantry, military jeeps and tanks came to the area by the Tayasir School in the village of al-‘Aqabah in the northern Jordan Valley, and trained there.
Videos filmed by 'Aref Dagharmeh, B'Tselem
On Sunday, 2 December 2018, at around 10:00 A.M., Civil Administration personnel came with a military-jeep escort to Khirbet Ibziq, which is located north-east of Tubas. The force confiscated a tractor belonging to a farmer from Bardalah, on the grounds that it/he was within a forbidden military zone, and ordered him to drive it to the Bet Shean/Bardalah checkpoint.
Today, Thursday, 8 November 2018, at around 7:00 A.M., Civil Administration personnel came with a tractor, a truck-mounted crane and a military-jeep escort to the Palestinian community of Khirbet Ibziq, which is located north-east of Tubas. The forces dismantled and confiscated a tin shack that served as an office for the community's primary school. The shack was donated to the school by the Tubas Council after the Civil Administration dismantled and confiscated last month two pre-fabs that had served as the offices of the staff and teachers of the school
Later, at around 8:30 A.M., Civil Administration personnel, accompanied by a military jeep, confiscated a vehicle belonging to the Tubas Council near the school, and a tractor belonging to a resident of the community, on the grounds that they are not permitted in the area as it is a closed military zone. The forces ordered the driver of the council car to drive to the Bet-She'an/Bardala checkpoint, and one of the soldiers drove the tractor there. At the checkpoint, the vehicles were mounted on a tow-truck and confiscated.
Today, Tuesday, 23 October 2018, Israeli Civil Administration personnel came with a bulldozer, a truck-mounted crane and a military-jeep escort to the Palestinian community of Khirbet Ibziq, which is located north-east of Tubas. The troops dismantled and confiscated two pre-fabs that had been donated by a humanitarian aid organization. The structures served as the offices of the staff and teachers of the community’s school. The schoolhouse was built about a year ago, and has a student body of 24 pupils. In addition, the troops served three stop-work orders, and one order instructing the residents to quit the area, claiming they are situated on an archeological site.
Over the last three days, 5-7 March, military forces, including scores of vehicles, tanks and other armored cars have been carrying out training exercises both during the day and at night, in several areas located near Khirbet al-Malih and the village of al-Farisiyah in the northern Jordan Valley. The exercises include use of firearms on grazing pastures, while local residents are denied access. Military bulldozers also destroyed part of a chickpea field yesterday. Today, 7 March 2018, at around 7:30 A.M., the forces arrived at nearby Khirbet Um al-Jmal, and armored vehicles and troops trained in between residents’ homes and on farmland. The military also held training exercises near Khirbet Ibziq today, where two families had evacuated their homes following orders they were given by the military on 4 March 2018. Incessant military training in the northern Jordan Valley is part of Israel’s longstanding policy aimed at making living conditions in Palestinian communities unbearable and forcing residents out, ostensibly of their own accord.
Yesterday, Sunday, 4 March 2018, at around 11:00 AM, Civil Administration personnel and soldiers arrived in two jeeps at Khirbet Ibziq, in the northern Jordan Valley, north of the city of Tubas. The officials served sixteen families with temporary evacuation orders, which stated the evacuation was needed for the purpose of military training near the families’ homes. All sixteen families were required to evacuate from seven o’clock in the morning until six o’clock in the evening next Tuesday, 13 March 2018. Two families were ordered to evacuate on three more dates, 7, 14 and 21 March 2018. Together, the sixteen families served with orders have 79 members, including 47 children.
These types of evacuation orders are part of a longstanding policy implemented by Israeli decision makers with the object of making the lives of Palestinians in communities in Area C miserable. The actions Israel takes to further this policy include denying access to basic services, destroying water and electricity infrastructure, confiscating farming equipment and holding frequent military training exercises near residents’ homes.
This policy is meant to encourage Palestinians to leave their communities, ostensibly of their accord.
Israeli forces raid two Palestinian Jordan Valley communities in past two months, uprooting and confiscating trees and ruining fields on Palestinian-owned land. Over 75% of Jordan Valley lands have been taken over by Israel, with 150,000 hectares transferred to settlement regional councils. In recent years, Israel has increased efforts to expel local Palestinian communities. Palestinians now own a minute portion of Jordan Valley lands, yet Israel harasses them even there.
Since Sept. some 220 Palestinians (incl. about 100 minors) have been forced to leave their homes in the Jordan Valley on multiple occasions to make way for military training. Families from Ibziq, Khirbet Humsah and Khirbet a-Ras al-Ahmar have had to spend hours on end, or even all night, far from home and exposed to the elements. The frequency of these displacements completely disrupts residents’ lives and jeopardizes the very existence of these communities. As an occupying power, Israel cannot use the land for routine military purposes, harm the livelihood of protected persons on this pretext, or attempt to expel the residents.
Israel’s regime of occupation is inextricably bound up in human rights violations. B’Tselem strives to end the occupation, as that is the only way forward to a future in which human rights, democracy, liberty and equality are ensured to all people, both Palestinian and Israeli, living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.