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Israeli forces expel Palestinian families from homes in Jordan Valley for army training

May 8, 2018 1:29 P.M. (Updated: May 9, 2018 3:52 P.M.)
TUBAS (Ma'an) -- The Israeli army forcefully expelled five Palestinian families from their homes on Tuesday in order to carry out military training in the small village, which is located in the Jordan Valley area of the northern occupied West Bank.

Local activist Aaref Daraghmeh told Ma’an that Israeli forces raided the Tubas-area village of Khirbet Humsa al-Fawqa, whose residents live in tents.

Daraghmeh said that Israeli forces expelled five families, sending them several kilometers away from their tents, for the purpose of conducting Israeli military training in the area.

Israeli authorities had reportedly notified the families one month ago to evacuate their tents on three different days: the 24th of April, 1st and 8th of May for military trainings from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The Jordan Valley forms a third of the occupied West Bank, with 88 percent of its land classified as Area C -- under full Israeli military control.

57 percent of the land in the Jordan Valley has been declared closed military zones, also known as a "firing zones," where Israeli army forces routinely train using live ammunition and explosive devices.

Nearly 20 percent of the occupied West Bank has been declared "firing zones" since the 1970s, but according to the UN, some 80 percent of these areas are not in fact used for military training. However, when military training does take place, Israeli forces families to leave their homes for hours or days at a time until the drill is over.

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