Israel orders Palestinian families to vacate homes

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“The Israeli army delivered evacuation orders to 50 Palestinian families in the northern Jordan Valley,” Aref Daraghmeh, mayor of the villages of Al-Malih and Al-Madarib, told The Anadolu Agency.

Israeli authorities on Thursday ordered 50 Palestinian families to vacate their homes in the Jordan Valley ahead of a planned military drill in the occupied region, according to a Palestinian activist.

“The Israeli army delivered evacuation orders to 50 Palestinian families in the northern Jordan Valley,” Aref Daraghmeh, mayor of the villages of Al-Malih and Al-Madarib, told The Anadolu Agency.

“The army gave the families three days to vacate their homes under the pretext that military drills were planned in the area,” he said.

“The families live in tents and makeshift homes on an area of ten square kilometers, where basic services – such as water and electricity – aren’t available,” he added.

Al-Malih resident Salem al-Zayen confirmed that Israeli forces had ordered him to vacate his land.

“They’re trying to pressure us to leave the Jordan Valley in order to build housing units for Jewish settlers,” he said.

Al-Zayen asserted that, even if he was forced by the Israeli army to leave his land, he would not leave the Jordan Valley region – despite continued pressure by Israel.

“This is my home,” he said. “And it will be my children’s home.”

Israel has built nearly 21 Jewish-only settlements in the area, which it views as an economic and security buffer zone.

The Israeli authorities hope to keep the region – which accounts for roughly a quarter of the occupied West Bank – under its firm control in any future peace deal.

Palestinians accuse Israel of preventing any development of Palestinian towns in the valley since 1967 and refusing to grant building permits to local residents.

Palestinian negotiators, for their part, want the Jordan Valley as part of a future state of Palestine.

More than 10,000 Palestinians live in the Jordan Valley. Because Israel forbids construction of cement and iron buildings in the area, most live in makeshift homes and tents.

Source: Anadolu Agency

 

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