Life in a Jordan Valley firing zone

The Israeli army sometimes leaves behind unexploded shells, killing or injuring farmers and children.

| | Middle East, Israel, Israeli–Palestinian conflict

Nearly 3,000 people live in some 20 shepherding communities in the Jordan Valley, either in areas declared as military firing zones or on the peripheries of these areas. 

In 2009, decades after the firing zones were declared, the Israeli army placed cement slabs near each of these communities and posted notices stating that entry was prohibited. The army occasionally orders the temporary evacuation of these Jordan Valley communities in order to conduct military exercises.

The orders require residents to leave their homes for periods of time ranging from a few hours to a couple of days. If the residents do not leave voluntarily, they may be removed forcibly and have their livestock confiscated.

In parts of these military training areas used by Palestinian farmers as plantations, the army accidentally leaves behind unexploded shells and ammunition, killing or injuring farmers and children as they try to work their land.

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