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Israeli forces detain 3 shepherds in Jordan Valley

Oct. 18, 2018 2:40 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 18, 2018 4:27 P.M.)
JORDAN VALLEY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces detained three Palestinian shepherds, on Thursday, while they were herding sheep in Khillet Makhoul village, in the al-Maleh area, in the northern Jordan Valley.

Mutaz Bisharat, the Palestinian official in charge of Jordan Valley's Israeli settlements file at the Palestinian Authority (PA), said that Israeli forces detained three shepherds while at work in the al-Maleh area.

Bisharat identified the three detainees as Muhammad Adel Elayyan Daraghmeh, Hilal Adel Elayyan Daraghmeh and Youssef Hussein Asmar Bisharat.

Palestinian residents of the Jordan Valley regularly face evacuations and interruption due to Israeli military exercises on or near their land. The Jordan Valley district of Tubas is one of the occupied West Bank's most important agricultural centers.

The majority of the Jordan Valley is under full Israeli military control, while at least 44% of the total land in the Jordan Valley has been re-appropriated by Israeli forces for military purposes and training exercises.

According to the Palestinian nonprofit the Applied Research Institute - Jerusalem (ARIJ), using data from the Palestine Ministry of Wall and Colonization Affairs, the group reported that more than 400,000 dunams (98,842 acres) of the 720,000 dunams (177,916 acres) that make up the total area of the Jordan Valley has been transformed into closed military and firing zones, with at least 27,000 dunams (6,672 acres) confiscated for illegal Israeli settlement building.

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