Village Destroyed by Israel Declared Closed Military Area

30 September 2013

From Ma’an News:

JORDAN VALLEY (Ma’an) — Israel’s army on Monday declared the Jordan Valley village of Makhoul a closed military area, a local council official said.

Aref Daraghmeh, the mayor of al-Malih and al-Madarib villages, said that Israeli forces set-up road blocks at the entrances to the area to prevent anyone from reaching it, official agency Wafa reported.

Israeli Forces arrest Palestinian

Israel’s army is expecting Palestinian and international activists to visit the area to show solidarity with residents of Makhoul, who were forcibly displaced after Israel demolished their village in the northern Jordan Valley on Sept. 16.

The demolition forcibly displaced 10 families, including 16 children, the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.

“The displacement of a whole Palestinian community in the occupied Palestinian territory is a very disappointing development at such a delicate moment where we look forward to positive measures on the ground,” the UN’s humanitarian coordinator James Rawley said.

Days later, Israeli forces used force to disperse foreign diplomats distributing aid to residents of Makhoul.

French diplomat Marion Fesneau-Castaing was dragged out of an aid truck by an Israeli soldier, who later confiscated the vehicle.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton’s spokesman demanded an explanation from Israel following the confiscation of humanitarian aid.

The Israeli military said Palestinians were to blame for instigating the incident.

Israel has destroyed more than 500 Palestinian properties in the West Bank and mostly East Jerusalem since the beginning of this year, displacing 862 people, according to OCHA.