Since 5 March 2018, Israeli troops including infantry, tanks and other armored vehicles have been training during the day and night in the area of Khirbet al-Malih and the village of al-Farisiyah in the northern Jordan Valley. The troops train with live fire on pastureland, preventing Palestinian residents from accessing the land.
Today, 13 March, exercises began at 3:00 A.M., including at least 20 tanks and dozens of military vehicles in various areas throughout the northern Jordan Valley, including just one kilometer from homes in the village of al-Farisiyah. In the town of Tubas, residents reported hearing loud shelling. Last night, Civil Administration officials notified 16 families from Khirbet Ibziq by phone who were previously ordered to vacate their homes today, that the military exercise has been delayed. The incessant military training in the Jordan Valley is part of a longstanding policy to drive Palestinian communities to leave, as though of their own free will.
At about 8:30 this morning, 17 June 2019, Civil Administration officials came with an escort of soldiers, Border Police and two bulldozers, two Khirbet Khilet a-Dabe' in the South Hebron Hills. The force demolished a structure made out of cement blocks and a tin roof that was home to a family of 12, including 7 children. The force also demolished the family's power room and confiscated a solar panel. The homeowner, who tried to prevent the demolition, was knocked over by police. The troops then went on to Khirbet al-Halawah. At 11:00 A.M. they demolished another three cement block structures with corrugated metal roofs that were home to three families, leaving 21 people, including 11 children, homeless.
On 12 June 2019, at around 7:30 A.M., Civil Administration personnel arrived at Khirbet Um al-Kheir, in the South Hebron Hills, with a military and Border Police escort and two bulldozers. The forces demolished a caravan used as a home by a family of ten, including seven minors. From there, the forces proceeded east, to the community of Khashm a-Daraj, where they demolished a shack used as a livestock pen.
This morning, 12 June 2019, at around 7:00 A.M., Civil Administration personnel arrived at Khirbet a-Ras al-Ahmar in the northern Jordan Valley with a military escort and two bulldozers. The forces demolished six tents used as residences by two families with a total of 15 members, including 7 minors. The forces also demolished six tents used as livestock pens as well as a tin livestock pen. The forces then proceeded north, to an area that stretches between the Palestinian villages of al-'Aqabah and Tayasir, where they demolished a water cistern a farmer from Tayasir dug about three months ago for irrigation.
On 11 June 2019, at around 7:00 A.M., Civil Administration personnel arrived at farmland located south of Khirbet ‘Atuf in the northern Jordan Valley with a military escort and two bulldozers. The forces demolished two water cisterns that were dug six years ago with funding from a humanitarian organization. One of the cisterns was located in an area privately owned by a farmer from Tammun and the other in an area belonging to the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture. The forces also uprooted more than 200 olive and other fruit trees planted by the farmer. The forces declared the area a closed military zone for five hours.
This week, again, on Sunday, Monday and Wednesday Civil Administration officials again came with a military jeep escort to Khirbet Humsah in the northern Jordan Valley and ordered the 15 families to vacate their homes pursuant to orders handed out in the community on 8 May 2019. This is the fourth week the families have been temporarily displaced, and the orders were carried out despite the heavy heat in the area, the Ramadan fast and the celebration of 'Eid al-Fitr as of Wednesday. Some of the families left on tractors harnessed to carts or in other vehicles, and others went on foot. On Wednesday morning, when 'Eid al-Fitr began, the forces came to the community at 5:00 A.M., two hours before the time stated in the order, and forced the families to leave unprepared. At 10:30, the military notified the families that they were permitted to return home (instead of at 2:00 P.M. as stated in the order).
On the morning of 30 May 2019, at about 8:00 A.M., Israeli Civil Administration personnel came with a tractor and bulldozer to Khirbet a-Ras al-Ahmar in the northern Jordan Valley. They had a military jeep as escort. The troops demolished two tents that served as seasonal dwellings and a sheep pen. One of the residential tents had been donated by the Red Cross and the other had been purchased with aid money from international humanitarian organizations. The troops also slashed and ruined ten canopy tents, some of which had been purchased with international aid funds. Later that morning, at about 10:00 A.M., CA personnel with a military jeep escort arrived at the village of al-Hadidiyah in the northern Jordan Valley. There, too, the troops demolished two tents that were seasonal homes and two tents that served as sheep pens.
Once again, on three days this week – Sunday, Monday and today (Wednesday, 29 May 2019) – Israeli Civil Administration personnel came with a military jeep escort to the Palestinian community of Khirbet Humsah in the northern Jordan Valley. They ordered fifteen families to vacate their homes in accordance with the orders they had been served on 8 May 2019. This is the third week in a row of the temporary displacements, which continue despite the oppressive heat, with temperatures ranging from a high of 36 degrees centigrade (96.8 °F) on Sunday to 42 degrees (107.6 °F) today, and despite the fast of Ramadan. This morning, the troops arrived at Khirbet Humsah at about 5:30 A.M., an hour and a half before the time mandated in the order and compelled the families to vacate their homes, even though they had not yet completed their preparations. The military informed the families that they may return home today at 11:00 A.M., instead of at 2:00 P.M., as written the order.
As a result of the military’s training in the area, a fire started on Monday on lands owned by Tubas residents, east of the region of Khirbet Samrah. The blaze destroyed hundreds of dunams [1 dunam = 1,000 square meters] of pastureland.
This week, on Sunday, Monday and today, Wednesday, 22 May 2019, Civil Administration personnel arrived with a military jeep to Khirbet Humsah in the northern Jordan Valley and ordered 15 families to vacate their homes, in keeping with the orders they were given on 8 May 2019. The forcible displacement proceeded despite the extreme heat in the area, with temperatures today reaching 42 degrees Celsius, and despite the Ramadan fast. Some of the families used tractors and trailers to leave, others left on foot. In addition, Civil Administration personnel also arrived at around 6:30 A.M. at nearby Khirbet a-Ras al-Ahmar, where they confiscated a truck owned by a resident of Tammun, on the claim that he was in a closed military zone. The Civil Administration officials told the truck owner to drive to the Saura military base and leave the truck there.
At around 10:00 o’clock this morning (Thursday, 16 May 2019), Israeli Civil Administration personnel came with a military and Border Police escort to the Palestinian community of Khirbet Susiya in the South Hebron Hills. They brought a bulldozer with them. For the fourth time, they dismantled and confiscated a tent that served as a sheep pen. The seasonal home of the family that owns the pen has been demolished four times over the last month.
At around 7:00 o’clock this morning (Wednesday, 15 May 2019) Israeli Civil Administration personnel, accompanied by a military jeep escort, came for the third time this week to the Palestinian community of Khirbet Humsah (al-Foqa) in the northern Jordan Valley. Once again, they ordered fifteen families to temporarily evacuate their homes, this time from 7:00 A.M. until 2:00 P.M. The families complied, some leaving by tractor-towed carts and other vehicles, others on foot.
Yesterday (Tuesday, 14 May 2019), two fires broke out on nearby pastureland – one in the morning and one in the evening – as a result of the military training there. The blazes destroyed dozens of dunams [1 dunam = 1 square kilometer] of pastureland that the community uses for grazing its livestock.
Since the beginning of May, four other fires have already erupted as a result of the nearly daily military training in the area. These blazes have destroyed hundreds of dunams of pastureland and dozens of dunams of cultivated farmland.
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.