Israel ‘closes road’ linking Hebron villages slated for demolition

Maan News Agency | Aug 7, 2012

HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces closed a road linking two villages in the Hebron hills on Tuesday, a local official said.

Rateb Jabour, head of Yatta’s popular committee against the wall, told Ma’an that Israel’s army closed the road linking Jinba and Khirbet Bir al’Idd villages and set-up a checkpoint.

Soldiers also searched several residential homes.

Israel plans to demolish eight villages in the Hebron hills to use the land for army training grounds.

Under Israel Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s plans, villagers will be allowed to access their land for farming on weekends and Jewish holidays, and during two one-month periods each year, when the Israeli army is not training in the area.

Israel regards the 1,500 residents of Khirbet al-Majaz, Khirbet al-Tabban, Sfai, Khirbet al-Fakheit, Halaweh, Mirkez, Jinba, and Kharoubeh as squatters, although the villages predate the establishment of the state of Israel by over 100 years.

In 1999, over 700 residents were evicted due to “illegal residence in a firing zone” and Israeli forces confiscated property and demolished buildings and wells.

On July 26, Israeli troops closed roads leading to seven of the villages, a spokesman for Yatta municipality Abed Abu Fannar told Ma’an.

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