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Israel displaces 17 families for Jordan Valley military drill

Oct. 22, 2013 3:28 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 23, 2013 3:55 P.M.)
JENIN (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces temporarily displaced 17 Palestinian families from their dwellings in Burj al-Mayta and al-Baziq neighborhoods in the northern Jordan Valley late Monday night and Tuesday morning for military drills in the area, a local official said.

The mayor of al-Malih and the Bedouin dwellings in the northern Jordan Valley, Aref Daraghmeh, said that eight families were evacuated Monday night in al-Baziq and nine families were evacuated Tuesday morning in Burj al-Mayta.

He explained that the residents and their livestock were left homeless for the period of the evacuation.

Israeli forces, added Daraghmah, started a military drill in Burj al-Mayta early Tuesday which will last until the evening.

Large numbers of military tanks and armored vehicles partook in the maneuvers using live ammunition.

Around 94 percent of the Jordan Valley and Dead Sea area is off limits to Palestinian use and development. More than 500,000 Israeli settlers live in settlements across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, in contravention of international law.

The internationally recognized Palestinian territories of which the West Bank and East Jerusalem form a part have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.
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