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Israeli army drill damages Bedouin land in Jordan Valley

April 30, 2013 6:49 P.M. (Updated: May 2, 2013 1:20 P.M.)
TUBAS (Ma'an) -- Israeli army exercises scorched fields in the Wadi al-Maleh area of the northern Jordan Valley, the local village council said.

The local council of the Bedouin community that was evicted from their lands and tents said the Israeli military was still performing training exercises by Monday evening.

The exercises include jet fighters, tanks, and other military vehicles.

The council added that people were prevented from reaching and extinguishing fires.

Those who live in the area suffered huge losses, council head Aarif Daraghma said. He accused Israel of trying to drive people from the land, and end their presence in the area.

Daraghma added that national and international human rights associations should support the community after the destruction caused by the Israeli army.

The Israeli army said the exercises were due to "regional changes."

At 10 a.m. on Monday, an army statement said, Israeli forces "commenced a military exercise in northern Israel. This exercise ended today" at 5 p.m., the army said.

It added: "Due to regional changes, the IDF constantly reassess force deployment and training schedules. The IDF regularly trains soldiers and commanders in order to provide the capabilities to protect the state of Israel and its residents. This exercise was planned in advance as part of the IDF's 2013 training schedule."
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