The residents of Wadi al-Maleh, a village mostly inhabited by shepherds in the arid area bordering Jordan, had almost all left their homes by an evening curfew and retreated to neighboring villages, Aref Daraghmeh, a local leader, told Reuters.
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Wadi al-Maleh village in 2010 (Photo: Ataf abu-Rub)
In January, villagers received a similar eviction order and left without resisting, only to return after 48 hours. Almost all of their 90 buildings, including shelters for their animals, were demolished in 2010, local rights groups said.
Israeli soldiers prevented outsiders, including journalists, from entering the area, saying it was a "closed military zone".
"It should be emphasized that these structures, located in closed military zones actively used by the IDF, are illegal in nature... the residents of these illegal structures have been requested in advance to vacate
the premises voluntarily," an IDF spokesperson said.
"This drill is a part of the IDF's pre-planned yearly exercise schedule," the spokesperson said.
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