Israel declared a new military training zone in the area of Masafer Yatta, spanning 3,000 hectares (30,000 dunams) within which 12 Palestinian villages are located: Jinbeh, Al-Mirkez, Al-Halaweh, Halat a-Dab’a, Al-Fakheit, A-Tabban, Al-Majaz, A-Sfai, Megheir Al-Abeid, Mufagara, A-Tuba, and Sarura.
700 residents of Firing Zone 918 were evicted.
In March, the Israeli High Court issued an interim injunction permitting the villagers to return to their homes and cultivate their land pending a ruling in the case. The Court told the parties to hold an ‘arbitration process’, during which Israel simply reiterated their displacement plan to move the villagers to a different, far smaller area south of the city of Yatta. The communities refused.
On July 19, Israel sent an updated stance to the court, saying it plans to expel eight out of the 12 villages from the firing zone, comprising more than 1000 inhabitants.
The residents filed new petitions to the court. Again, the HCJ issued an interim injunction forbidding the state to expel the residents.
On May 4, the Israeli High Court ruled in favour of the ethnic cleansing of some 1,300 Palestinians living in all the twelve villages in the area of Masafer Yatta.
A new court hearing is set for July 15.