In recent weeks, Firing Zone 918 made headlines. Eight villages in the West Bank's southernmost area are affected. Over 1,500 Palestinians live there. On July 23, Israel ordered them out. Property demolitions are planned.
On August 7, the IDF began closing roads. A checkpoint between Jinba and Khirbet Biral'Idd villages was established. Soldiers began harassing residents and damaging property.
Life in Occupied Palestine is hard enough. In Firing Zone 918, it's harder. In 1999, the area was first designated for military use. Around 700 Palestinians were displaced.
In 2000, an interim High Court of Justice (HCJ) injunction halted evacuations. For over a decade, residents lived in limbo. They face constant threat of demolition, displacement and dispossession.
Israel claims nomadic Bedouin culture constitutes nonpermanent residency. Villagers challenge lawless rulings for their rights. International law backs them.
School records show they're permanent residents. Land they live on is theirs. They've been there for generations or longer. Displacing them has no legal standing. Israel does it anyway. It wants residents from eight to 12 villages displaced.
In early August, masked IDF soldiers raided Jinba village. They raided homes, searched them, damaged property, and mapped the site. Residents know they're targeted for dispossession.
Helicopters landed and took off six times. Soldiers were ferried in. Outside Jinba, a command center tent was erected.