Israel is using simulated villages to train its forces to destroy Palestinian homes and deal with ensuing protests, says a report.
On Tuesday, the Middle East Monitor website published footage originally broadcasted on Israel’s Channel 2 that showed Israeli soldiers practicing facing protesters, raiding and demolishing homes in fake Palestinian villages.
According to the report, these drills have been going on for about a week in order to ready soldiers “to face Palestinian protesters while demolishing houses in Palestinian villages.”
The occupied West Bank has seen an unprecedented rise in the demolition of Palestinian homes this year, with the number of buildings destroyed in the first half of 2016 standing well beyond the total number of demolitions carried out in all of 2015.
According to a United Nations report, Israel has made over 1,383 Palestinians homeless since January as a result of demolitions in the occupied territories, compared to 688 Palestinians internally displaced during the entire 2015.
Since the beginning of the year, at least 168 Palestinian homes have been destroyed, displacing 276 people.
The world body also notes the “vast majority” of the Palestinian structures were destroyed or seized because the Israeli policies made it virtually impossible for Palestinians to obtain building permits.