Israeli forces have evicted around 500 Palestinians from their homes in the occupied West Bank. Many of the Palestinian residents were forced to vacate their homes in the Wadi al-Maleh area in the north of the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, AFP reported. Israel called the homes in the area “illegal” and said the evacuation is temporary and for a military exercise. "Due to a military exercise... temporary eviction notices were distributed today,” the Israeli military said in a statement. "At the conclusion of the exercise, the residents will be permitted to return," the statement added.
However, Majid al-Fitiani, the Palestinian governor of the region, condemned the action and said, "Even an expulsion of 24 hours is unacceptable."Last year, another evacuation had been carried out in the same area as Israeli forces carried out military exercises. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, out of the 60,000 Palestinians who live in the Jordan Valley, "some 3,400 people reside partially or fully in closed military zones and face a high risk of forced eviction." The Palestinian residents in the area often face compulsory evacuation or destruction of their houses. NT/MHB