About 1,500 Palestinians living in the South Hebron Hills will likely be uprooted to make way for an Israeli military firing range.
Ramallah, West Bank
Khalid Jabareen's tone was frantic as he discussed the future of his village and family, even though he thought the moment he dreaded – when they would be expelled from their homes – was months away.
“What should we do when they come to kick us out? They will come with bulldozers when our children are asleep. Then we don’t know where to go,” Mr. Jabareen said, speaking last week in the West Bank town of Yatta. “I think we have three or four months until we are expelled.”
Two days later, the Israeli military sent the first unmistakable sign to his village Jinba of residents' impending expulsion, as scores of armed soldiers entered their village, checked IDs, and photographed the residents’ cave dwellings and tents.
“We were all sleeping when we heard the noise of the helicopters,” Jabareen recounts a day after the raid. “They told us to leave our homes for an hour, set up an army tent close by, and took photos.”
His village of Jinba is one of eight in the South Hebron Hills, home to about 1,500 Palestinians altogether, that will soon be uprooted to make way for Firing Zone 918, a military training ground. The Israeli Ministry of Defense asked the High Court of Justice to green-light the necessary evictions and demolitions last month, setting in motion the eviction of Palestinian residents who say their roots there go back generations.
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