Since 2 November 2020, Israeli troops have been training in the Jordan Valley with small arms and tank fire. The exercises, held near Palestinian communities or on their pastureland from Sunday through Thursday, endanger the residents’ lives and damage their livelihoods.
Most of the exercises have been held in the northern Jordan Valley, especially near the communities of al-Farisiyah, Khirbet al-Malih, al-Burj, Khirbet Samrah and Khirbet Ibzik. While the troops were training, some residents left their homes for fear for their lives and did not take their flocks out to graze. In the area of Khirbet al-Malih, the troops trained only 100 meters or so away from the residents’ homes. In other places, they trained about 3 kilometers from community homes. As part of the exercises, soldiers fired tank shells at hilly terrain and pastureland.
On Tuesday, 4 November 2020, Civil Administration personnel arrived with a military jeep escort at the communities of al-Burj, ‘Ein al-Meyteh and Nab’ al-Ghazal in the Jordan Valley. They notified the residents that the following week, starting Tuesday, they would have to evacuate the premises every day at set hours so troops could train within their communities’ territory. The training was eventually held without evacuating the residents, who left of their own accord for fear for their lives and did not take their flocks out to graze.
Last week, from 15 to 19 November, hundreds of soldiers trained in the pastureland of Khirbet al-Malih, about 100 meters away from residents’ homes. The soldiers fired tank shells and forbade the residents from grazing their flocks in the area.
On the morning of 24 November 2020, at around 8:30 A.M., two Civil Administration personnel arrived with a military escort at the communities of ‘Ein al-Meyteh and al-Burj. They ordered ten families, numbering 60 people in total, mostly minors, to vacate their homes and stay at a distance of about 100 meters south of the communities' residential area until 4:00 P.M.
On Tuesday night, 3 November 2020, at around 10:00 P.M., Civil Administration personnel came with dozens of soldiers to the Palestinian community of Khirbet Ibzik in the northern Jordan Valley. The forces blocked the entrances to the community and spread out among the homes. They stayed in the area until 9:00 A.M. and confiscated nine tractors, five water containers, five utility trailers, and two cars of residents.
On Sunday, 1 November 2020, at around 10:00 A.M., Civil Administration personnel arrived at the Palestinian community of Khirbet Ibziq in the Jordan Valley. The forces delivered a warning order to desist from “antiquity destruction” for tents owned by one of the residents. They continued to the community’s school, where they ordered the council head to remove a bus that was donated to the community to serve as a classroom or for storage, under threat of confiscation.
In the afternoon, Civil Administration personnel arrived at the village of Furush Beit Dajan in the Jordan Valley. They confiscated a digger owned by a resident of Marj Na’jah that area farmers were using to build a reservoir. The forces drove the digger to the al-Hamra checkpoint.
In the evening, a military jeep arrived at the area of Jabaris, west of the village of ‘Ein al-Beida. The soldiers confiscated a tractor owned by a village resident and drove it to a settlement. From there it was transferred to the Brosh Habik’a military camp.
On Monday morning, 21 September 2020, at around 9:30 A.M., Civil Administration personnel came with a military jeep escort to the Palestinian community of Khirbet Yarza in the northern Jordan Valley. The force handed two families, numbering 10 people in total, including six minors, demolition orders for their homes: two structures made of concrete, stone and tin. The demolition orders were issued by power of military order 1797. On 9 September 2020, the forces delivered one of the families a warning order to stop destroying antiquities.
Later that Monday, at around 4:00 P.M., Civil Administration personnel returned to Khirbet Yarza and confiscated a water container being used to fix the community’s access road. The following evening, 15 September 2020, Civil Administration personnel came with an escort of military jeeps, police officers and Israel Nature and Parks Authority staff to the community of Khirbet Ibzik in the northern Jordan Valley. They surrounded a plot owned by a resident of Tubas, confiscated his car and a digger owned by a resident of Meithalun, and ordered the two owners to drive the confiscated vehicles to the Tayasir military base. The force also delivered a warning order to stop destroying antiquities to a resident of al-‘Aqabah who cultivates land in Ibzik, and forced him to dismantle a tent he had set up for agricultural uses.
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.
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.
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.