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Israeli military bulldozers ravage Palestinian land in Tubas

Wednesday September 17, 2008 17:39 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC News

This week, Israeli occupation forces armored bulldozers have begun tearing up the land of Palestinian villagers in the town of Tubas, after having issued 'military demolition orders' on the homes of two dozen families.

The Israeli military commonly issues demolition orders for the Palestinian homes that stand in the way of areas they wish to expand the illegal Israeli colonies.  Tubas, located in the northeastern West Bank, is a village that has faced hundreds of such orders in the past several years, as Israeli officials have publicly stated that they wish to empty the village to expand their bases onto that land.
The land is strategically located in the Jordan Valley, an area that Israel is currently closing off to the Palestinian residents, and constructing settlements and military bases that will result in the complete encirclement of the West Bank, and control of the Jordan River for Israel.  Currently, the West Bank (one of two Palestinian territories that together constitute 27% of the original land of Palestine, and are all the land the Palestinians have left after Israel was created and expanded over the last 60 years) borders the Jordan River, but Israel is attempting to change that reality with new so-called 'facts on the ground' that they hope will be irreversible in any peace negotiations that may take place in the future.
The people of Tubas, meanwhile, have, since Monday, watched helplessly as Israeli bulldozers began tearing up their land.  Twenty days ago, twenty-six families received demolition orders for their homes from the ruling Israeli military authorities.  The reason given for the demolitions was 'security reasons'.
According to Aref Daraghmeh, the Head of Regional Affairs for the village, “Israeli military vehicles and soldiers are flooding the area and have threatened some residents there with home and barn demolition. Also the sheep grazing lands on farms throughout the region are under threat.”  Daraghmeh told the Palestine News Network, "Eighty-five percent of the pasture is closed. Farmers and other residents can’t access their land.  The area under threat holds wealth of archeological treasures, animal life, and is a tourist destination. The construction of military roads will ruin the area.”
The Israeli forces are using the land as a path to transport tanks from one base to another.


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