The Israeli Defense Ministry has announced that they are planning to destroy eight Palestinian villages in the occupied West Bank, displacing 1,500 residents and forcing them to move to the city of Yatta.
The military claims that the villages are “illegally” placed inside a “live fire zone” and will be demolished for military training. The area was only declared a military zone in 1976, and evidence suggests the villages have been there since 1830.
The villages have been under threat of demolition since 1999, but the Israeli High Court blocked their demolition at the time. Apparently the live fire zone hasn’t effected the villages, but the military is expressing concern that the residents might be “terrorists” spying on them.
The move to expel civilians from the area will put even more tension on the stalled peace process, as evidence that Israel is continuing to expand the portion of the West Bank it considers exclusively theirs at the expense of local populations.