Israeli military trains in Jordan Valley throughout November 2020
Since 2 November 2020, Israeli troops have been training in the Jordan Valley with small arms and tank fire. The exercises, held near Palestinian communities or on their pastureland from Sunday through Thursday, endanger the residents’ lives and damage their livelihoods.
Most of the exercises have been held in the northern Jordan Valley, especially near the communities of al-Farisiyah, Khirbet al-Malih, al-Burj, Khirbet Samrah and Khirbet Ibzik. While the troops were training, some residents left their homes for fear for their lives and did not take their flocks out to graze. In the area of Khirbet al-Malih, the troops trained only 100 meters or so away from the residents’ homes. In other places, they trained about 3 kilometers from community homes. As part of the exercises, soldiers fired tank shells at hilly terrain and pastureland.
On Tuesday, 4 November 2020, Civil Administration personnel arrived with a military jeep escort at the communities of al-Burj, ‘Ein al-Meyteh and Nab’ al-Ghazal in the Jordan Valley. They notified the residents that the following week, starting Tuesday, they would have to evacuate the premises every day at set hours so troops could train within their communities’ territory. The training was eventually held without evacuating the residents, who left of their own accord for fear for their lives and did not take their flocks out to graze.
From 15 to 19 November, hundreds of soldiers trained in the pastureland of Khirbet al-Malih, about 100 meters away from residents’ homes. The soldiers fired tank shells and forbade the residents from grazing their flocks in the area.
On the morning of 24 November 2020, at around 8:30 A.M., two Civil Administration personnel arrived with a military escort at the communities of ‘Ein al-Meyteh and al-Burj. They ordered ten families, numbering 60 people in total, mostly minors, to vacate their homes and stay at a distance of about 100 meters south of the communities' residential area until 4:00 P.M.