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Israeli military training causes widespread disruption near Yatta

June 13, 2014 5:40 A.M. (Updated: June 14, 2014 8:25 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Hundreds of Israeli soldiers have been undertaking military training exercises in the south Hebron hills for the past five days, causing widespread restrictions and disruptions for local Palestinian residents.

Operation Dove, a peace group which works in the area, said Thursday that hundreds of soldiers have deployed by military bases near the villages of Jinba and Mirkez.

The Israeli soldiers have set up tents to sleep in and store military equipment and are deploying in groups within nearby villages to carry out training exercises.

Local Palestinians have suffered restrictions on their freedom of movement during the training, with several agricultural fields damaged by the troops.

Shepherds reported being chased away with their flocks by Israeli soldiers, while others say they were assaulted, Operation Dove said.

During the night, local villagers say the Israeli soldiers have been using explosives and have even entered the villages, frightening residents.

The south Hebron hills, under full Israeli control in Area C, are home to around 4,000 Palestinians.

Located near the Green Line, a combination of illegal and violent settler outposts, designated firing zones, and demolition orders put immense pressure on the community.

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