HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces have closed several roads in the south Hebron hills, after Israel ordered the demolition of eight villages in the area to use the land for military training, local official said.
Israeli troops closed roads leading to Khirbet al-Majaz, Khirbet al-Tabban, Khirbet al-Fakheit, Halaweh, Mirkez, Jinba and Kharoubeh, a spokesman for Yatta municipality Abed Abu Fannar told Ma’an.
Abu Fannar said Israeli military bulldozers were closing the entrances to all the villages. He added that he was detained by Israeli soldiers while inspecting the area and warned not to return.
Israeli troops have informed residents of the villages that the region is a closed military zone, Abu Fannar said, and military vehicles are deployed throughout the area.
Israel’s High Court of Justice heard Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s plans to demolish the villages on Sunday, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported.
Residents of the south Hebron villages 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, Haaretz reported.
Israel regards the 1,500 residents of the villages as squatters, although the villages predate the establishment of the state of Israel by over 100 years, Haaretz said.
Previous evacuation orders issued against the villages were frozen by Israel’s High Court of Justice.