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Israeli forces order evacuation of Jordan Valley village for 'military operations'

Oct. 31, 2016 10:20 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 1, 2016 7:02 P.M.)
TUBAS (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces delivered notices to residents of the Jordan Valley-area village of Khirbet al-Ras al-Ahmar to completely evacuate the village starting from Tuesday at dawn until Wednesday, so that Israeli forces could use the village to “conduct military maneuvers.”

Bashar Bani Odeh, the head of the village council, told Ma’an that Israeli forces delivered the notices during a raid in the village on Monday.

Odeh added that authorities confiscated five Palestinian agricultural tractors belonging to locals Saqer Azzat Bani Odeh, Ali Azzat Bani Odeh, Thaer Abdullah Basharat, Rashid Abdullah Bsharat, and Ali Fayad Bani Odeh.

An Israeli army spokesperson said they were looking into reports.

Khirbet al-Ras al-Ahmar is one of the approximately 180 Palestinian villages in the occupied West Bank on lands designated as ‘Area C’ -- the area of the West bank under full Israeli security and civilian control -- according to Israeli human rights NGO B’Tselem.

Additionally, the village is a designated Israeli military “firing zone.”

Nearly 20 percent of the occupied West Bank has been declared "firing zones" since the 1970s, but according to the UN, nearly 80 percent of these areas are not in fact used for military training.

Rights groups have accused Israel of declaring some parts of the West Bank as firing zones as an attempt to annex these areas.

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