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Pack up your homes, people, the IDF needs to hold a drill- Ha'aretz

When the army needs to hold drills with live fire, the Bedouin of the Jordan Valley have to vacate their tent encampments.

July 2012

Amjed Zahweh lies in his iron crib. His family's tent was destroyed, but rebuilt again this week. Photo by Alex Levac

“Amjed Zahweh is 10 days old. Last week, Civil Administration inspectors demolished his family’s tent in the Jordan Valley. Now he’s lying in his iron crib, covered with a blanket and rags in the stifling heat. His family sprawls on the ground near him in the tent that was destroyed but was rebuilt again this week. With them are dozens of families that live without running water, without electricity, without minimal sanitary conditions. Across from their encampment are verdant settlements.

We have visited here dozens of times in recent years. This time we heard that the Civil Administration had apprised some 40 families in the northern part of the valley that they had a few hours to vacate their homes and encampments for a period of 24 hours, because of a live-fire drill by the Israel Defense Forces. The announcement came practically without warning, and none of the families was offered an alternative dwelling.

In the Jordan Valley, which a majority of Israelis do not consider to be occupied land per se, there actually aren’t any fanatical settlers with long earlocks. Here we are dealing with moshavniks. From their zooming cars they can see a barrier of dirt dozens of kilometers long that Israel built in recent years, to imprison the Palestinian occupants of Ain al-Hilweh, thus preventing them from being able to reach the road easily. “Good” Israelis – who rush to volunteer for relief and rescue delegations dispatched to the four corners of the earth – do not come here in response to the humanitarian disaster that is taking place just an hour-and-a-half’s drive from Tel Aviv and about an hour from Jerusalem.

Only a handful of Israeli women, those from the Machsom Watch organization, are still coming here, to provide some humanitarian aid and to try bring this locally made disaster to the knowledge of Israelis and the world.

[…]”

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Full article here:

http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/twilight-zone/pack-up-your-homes-people-the-idf-needs-to-hold-a-drill.premium-1.449263

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