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Israeli forces evacuate Palestinian families for military drill

Aug. 30, 2015 12:11 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 30, 2015 9:26 P.M.)
TUBAS (Ma’an) – Israeli troops on Sunday morning evacuated 14 Palestinian families from their houses in the al-Ras al-Ahmar area of Khirbet Atuf village east of Tubas in the northern Jordan Valley area of the West Bank, local sources said.

Local sources reported that the “Israeli occupation” told the 14 families that Israeli forces will be carrying out military drills in the area for five days.

During the five days ofmilitary exercises, Palestinian residents in the area will be evacuated for six hours per day, local sources told Ma'an.

The evacuation was done under the pretext that such a move protects residents.

Palestinian residents of the Jordan Valley regularly face evacuations and interruption due to Israeli military excercizes on or near their land.

Earlier this year military drills in Tubas resulted in a fire that swept across some 3,000 to 4,000 dunams (750 to 1,000 acres) of Jordan Valley farmland.

The majority of the Jordan Valley is under full Israeli military control, despite being within the West Bank.The district of Tubas is one of the occupied West Bank's most important agricultural centers.

According to the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem, more than 15,000 dunams (3,700 acres)of land in the Tubas district have been confiscated by Israel for military bases with a further 8,000 dunams (2,000 acres) seized for illegal Israeli settlements.

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