For a week, Israeli soldiers along with their guns, bulldozers, military jeeps, tanks and helicopters have been invading Palestinian villages in Masafer Yatta. This is part of the live-fire military training that has started on June 21, 2022 and will last for two more weeks.
The Israeli army’s military training is being carried out in the villages of Jinba, Al-Markez and Al-Majaz. The three villages are among the eight located in what Israel classifies as Firing Zone 918. On May 4, 2022, Israel’s Supreme Court issued a decision to ethnically cleanse Palestinians living in the eight villages, who number over 1000 people.
According to local residents, the military training has badly affected their daily lives. Residents of the villages are no longer able to graze their herds as the military training is being carried out on their grazing land. Movement of people inside and outside the villages is highly restricted as the Israeli army has set up military tents between Palestinian homes.
At the entrance of the three villages, there has been a constant presence of Israeli soldiers who limit the access of Palestinians from neighboring villages and towns to the affected villages. In other words, Jinba, Al-Markez and Al-Majaz are under a three-week siege. The life of people, who have refused to leave their homes, and their animals is at risk. Israeli soldiers conducting the training keep shooting live fire in areas that are only a few meters away from Palestinian homes.
The last time the Israeli army held a military training of this kind in these villages was twenty years ago. Conducting an army training in the area less than two months after the court ruling in favor of the forcible expulsion of more than 1000 Palestinians is part of Israeli enforcement of the court decision.
The military training is compounded with other measures to squeeze Palestinians out of their homes. This includes home demolition and the fortification of the Apartheid Wall in the area.
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