B’Tselem: The military exercises in the Jordan Valley are an excuse to deport the Palestinians, prevent any development and enable Israel to deepen its control and settlement

A report by the Human Rights Center “B’Tselem” revealed that the occupation army’s destruction of large areas of Palestinian lands planted with crops last Sunday morning, by invading dozens of tanks, bulldozers and military trucks on agricultural lands in more than one Bedouin community Pastoral and agricultural, including a community - Khirbet Ibziq - in the northern Jordan Valley, which is nothing but a process of blocking the road to any Palestinian development in the valley, enabling Israel to deepen its control over the region and exploit its resources exclusively for its needs and to expand settlements by displacing Palestinians by destroying their homes and crops and stealing red soil. Under the guise of “military exercises” and under the pretext that the area is a closed military zone.

 

The report said that these alleged exercises are still ongoing, as tanks and bulldozers have destroyed hundreds of dunums of fields planted with wheat and barley and other fields that the people plowed in preparation for planting them. In addition, the bulldozers loaded huge amounts of soil and piled it inside the lands and sabotaged agricultural roads, while this coincided with the army’s protection of settlers who steal perennial olive trees from Palestinian lands to sell or plant them at the entrances to illegal settlements in the northern occupied West Bank.

 

The report stated that the occupation soldiers fired and artillery shells at locations hundreds of meters away from the homes of pastoral and agricultural communities to intimidate the Palestinian citizens and push them to leave their lands and farms, their source of livelihood. He stressed that the army was parading in front of the weak segments of Palestinian society in an old and renewed attempt to limit the Palestinian presence in the valley and sensitive facilities with fertility and provided water to include them for the settlement blocs and outposts that spread there.

 

B'Tselem clarified that through its practices, Israel continues to expel the residents of Khirbet Ibziq - this time by sabotaging fields and demolishing homes under the pretext of "military training."

 

B'Tselem said, "We reject the prevailing view of Israel as a democratic state that runs a temporary occupation regime at the same time, and that sees the entire area controlled by Israel - within the Green Line, in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip - a single system that operates according to a single military principle and system, which is ; Achieving and maintaining the superiority of one group of people (the Jews) over another group (the Palestinians). It is an apartheid system.

 

The Center emphasized that this system was not established overnight, but was institutionalized and its features became clear over time. The accumulation of these steps over the years and their widespread reflection in law and practice, and the public and judicial support they received - all lead to the painful conclusion that this system has crossed the ceiling that it needs to be defined as an apartheid regime.

 

The Israeli human rights organization indicated that the main means that Israel harnesses to achieve the principle of Jewish supremacy is the engineering of the geographical, demographic and political space: the Jews manage their lives in one continuous space in which they enjoy full rights and self-determination. Conversely, the Palestinians live in a space splintered into different ghettos and Israel decides which rights are granted to the Palestinians in each of these ghettos and which are taken away—and in all of them are rights that are deficient compared to the rights enjoyed by Jews.

 

B'Tselem indicated that in early 2022, the occupation army handed eviction orders to six families from the community of Khirbet Ibziq in the northern Jordan Valley, which together number 35 individuals, including 17 minors, forcing them to leave their homes on Sunday at 8:00 am. According to these orders, families are required to remain outside their homes until 3:00 in the morning of the next day.

 

He continued, since December, this is the sixth time that families have been given such orders, but this time the six families insisted on staying in their homes. In response, delegates from the Military Government - the Civil Administration and soldiers came at noon and forced her to leave her homes. The family members had to walk six kilometers in order to spend the eviction period with their relatives, and at 3:00 in the morning they returned to their homes. It is worth noting that the "trainings" continued even after their return.

 

The report explained in documenting the crimes of the occupation - on Tuesday, the army destroyed and bulldozed the fields planted and prepared for cultivation in full, and the assembly was raided by delegates from the military government - the Civil Administration with the aim of demolishing tents in which three families that together number 16 individuals, including 6 minors, after forcing them to evacuate their homes before that. By a few days.

 

He added, worse than that, that the army had demolished the tents of these families just a week before, so they re-erected the tents and placed their equipment and belongings with the help of ACTED. When the families became aware of this a few days later, the occupation army, the Civil Administration delegates and the soldiers who accompanied them quickly dismantled and hidden their tents, but the forces found and destroyed the tents. In addition, the occupation forces destroyed eight tents, which are livestock pens, tents used for storing fodder, a tabun, a chicken coop, livestock watering troughs, livestock food troughs, and the same fodder.

 

B'Tselem reported the official Israeli version that the army needs to conduct training in this particular area, and that this need undoubtedly trumps the rights and needs of the residents - these people should not be in this area in the first place, as it has been declared a "firing zone." But this story was fabricated only to disguise the long-term goals that Israel aims at. The coercion and abuse of the residents - including their frequent evictions, demolishing their homes and sabotaging their fields - does not come from a vacuum, but rather within an implicit plan to force them to leave their homes and lands permanently and block the way for any Palestinian development in the area, thus enabling Israel to deepen its control over the area and exploit its resources exclusively for their needs.

 

The B’Tselem report attached a statement by Salih Sawafta, 31, from Bardala, about what he experienced during the eviction: “We came to our lands to harvest the crop, and from afar we saw dozens of tanks and military vehicles. I approached them cautiously and saw the destruction they had caused. Their heavy machinery was trampling our plowed fields and ruining everything: the corn and beans crops, the irrigation networks and the agricultural roads. They deliberately walked into the fields instead of the existing roads. They destroyed our hopes.. We cultivate our lands to live on, but the army always comes at the time of harvest and harvest and ruins everything at this time of the year. They do not come for training at all in the summer, when the area is dry and there is no cultivation, they come deliberately in the winter.

 

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