Israeli military training, demolitions and homeless Palestinian families

By Isra Ghourani

JORDAN VALLEY, Thursday, December 30, 2021 (WAFA) – For nearly a month, many families residing in Khirbet Ibziq, north of Tubas in the northern occupied Jordan Valley, have been living in a state of instability due to of their eviction and eviction from their homes to conduct nearby military training for the Israeli occupation army.

As a result, these families have spent many difficult days and nights, wandering the open fields and among the mountain slopes where they have spent more time than in their homes throughout this month.

These same families were surprised the day before yesterday by a large force of the Israeli army storming their community and demolishing their tents, leveling them to the ground.

In the end, the structures of 11 families of Khirbet Ibziq were razed, six of which were completely demolished by the occupation forces, while five families were forced to demolish their facilities themselves, according to Motaz Bisharat, a responsible for the governorate of Tubas. .

Abu Mahmoud Turkman, one of the citizens whose facilities were demolished, told WAFA that his family has not had a day of peace since earlier this month, when army training began in Khirbet Ibziq and its surroundings. He and other residents have been ordered by Israeli forces to evacuate their homes on several occasions so that the military can conduct military exercises near their community. Each time, these families and their children found themselves living in the heart of nature at the foot of the mountains.

Israeli forces demolished eight tents for the Turkmen family, some used as shelter for their family and others to keep their livestock and store fodder, in addition to destroying water tanks and solar panels they used to generate electricity.

Occupation soldiers did not allow families to remove anything from their belongings and clothes before the demolition, nor were they allowed to take out their supplies and food.

Turkman says the occupation authorities thereby aim to evict them from their homes and lands in order to seize them, stressing that whenever the military officer in charge notifies them to evacuate their homes in order to conduct training, he tells them to leave. Khirbet for good, but he would categorically refuse to do so.

Opposite the Turkmen tents, Mustafa Nasrallah lived with his family before being forced to demolish his tents and facilities with his own hands.

Nasrallah took with him what was left of the material he had used to build the shelters on the nearby slopes, hoping to somehow use them to make shelters for his four children, the youngest of whom has three years, to protect them from the extreme cold conditions in the desert.

Khirbet Ibziq village council chief Abdul Majeed Khdeirat said residents have had very difficult days since the start of this month. Army training did not cease throughout the month and took place in fields planted with crops and near and between houses, posing great dangers to residents and their lives. The shells were falling near their homes and there was great fear of the remains of these shells.

“Although the exercises were continuous throughout the month, the last two days have been the most difficult for the residents,” Khdeirat said. “Khirbet Ibziq was more like a battlefield due to the momentum of the exercises and the number of forces and vehicles participating in them, as hundreds of soldiers dispersed around the village, in addition to the participation of more. 150 vehicles, including tanks and military jeeps. On top of that, the exercises coincided with the demolition of homes and facilities. “

The exercises in Khirbet Ibziq have so far resulted in the destruction and sabotage of nearly 400 dunums of planted land, according to Khdeirat, and when the training, which will continue until next month, ends, he will be difficult to remedy the situation. and save the season, which means that the farmers have been permanently deprived of their crops, which makes their situation more difficult. These families mainly depend on these crops to provide them with wheat, barley and other rain-fed crops for their livestock, he said.

Khdeirat claims that training in Khirbet Ibziq and its surroundings is almost permanent. Each year, the occupation army organizes training for six months of the year, and not necessarily in a row.

All of this makes people’s lives very unstable throughout the year, not to mention the psychological effects on the whole population, especially children, who live in constant fear from the noise of the shells and movement. military vehicles near them, as well as the danger of being killed by the remains left behind. Over the years, many people have been killed or injured because of these remains.

Khirbet Ibziq is a Palestinian village whose land, including agricultural plains and their pastures, covers an area of ​​45,000 dunums. It is located on the edge of the apartheid wall where 45 families of over 200 people live.

According to a report from the Land Research Center, Israel uses demolitions and evictions as a policy of displacing citizens in areas of Jerusalem and classified “C” areas, and in return, it facilitates the construction of settlements and outposts illegal Israelis that are built without any restrictions.

According to statistics from the center, the occupation authorities demolished 883 Palestinian homes and establishments in 2020, a 27% increase from 2019.

According to the same report, Israel demolished in Tubas governorate and northern Jordan Valley in 2020 a total of 25 houses, inhabited by 126 people, including 54 children, and 133 other facilities, including annexes to houses. , as well as agricultural premises and livestock structures, water wells and ponds.


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