The Israeli military’s ongoing plans to destroy eight Palestinian villages in the occupied West Bank and displace some 1,300 villagers from their homes is being challenged in the nation’s High Court of Justice today.
The government’s official stance on the ousters is that they are necessary because they will save the military time and money by allowing them to constantly use the area that was historically a grazing area for the villagers as a live fire zone for training exercises.
The IDF declared the area a “live fire zone” in 1976, and then said the villagers were illegally built too close to that zone in 1980. The evidence from the villagers however shows that those villages have been there since 1830.
The High Court previously blocked the villages demolition in 1999, and the military has mostly allowed the villagers access to the grazing area during Jewish holidays, when it’s not being pummelled with practice fire.
Even though nearly 40 years as a live fire zone hasn’t already ruined the villages, Israel’s military has insisted in the past that “terrorist” threats posed by the villagers being able to see them practising was the primary reason to destroy them.