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Israeli military holds exercises in residential Palestinian areas of Jordan Valley

Israeli infantry soldiers conduct drills in the occupied Jordan Valley [Getty]

Date of publication: 15 September, 2020

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The Israeli army has been using heavy machinery on agricultural land and near residential areas in the northern Jordan Valley, posing dangers to locals and their livelihoods.
Israel's armed forces are conducting military exercises in residential Palestinian areas in the West Bank's Jordan Valley, human rights activist Aref Daraghme told WAFA news on Tuesday.

The army have been using the areas of Khirbet al-Shaq, Khirbet Samra and Khirbet Oheish in the northern Jordan Valley for excercises since Thursday afternoon, according to Daraghme.

The army has been using heavy machinery on agricultural land and near residential areas, posing life-threatening dangers to local people as well as putting their livelihoods at risk.

Rights groups have frequently documented how the Israeli military leaves behind explosives and other dangerous equipment that endanger the lives of children and civilians, as well as destroying crops and farmland.

Often, families are required to evacuate their homes during the exercises, which can involve the use of firearms.

Btselem, a rights group documenting Israeli violations in the occupied territories, has said that "incessant" military training in the northern Jordan Valley forms "part of Israel’s longstanding policy aimed at making living conditions in Palestinian communities unbearable and forcing residents out, ostensibly of their own accord".

Read also: Burning gold: Israel's destruction of Jordan Valley harvests

Swathes of the strategic Jordan Valley, which is home to 65,000 Palestinians, have been earmarked for annexation by Israel.

The Jordan Valley comprises 30 per cent of the West Bank, and contains half of its agricultural land.

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