Another development now underway in the village of Al Aqaba: Several Israel military jeeps and personnel carriers, 11 vehicles total, moved into the village this evening at dusk. Israeli soldiers with sleeping bags seem to be preparing to conduct a training exercise and stay the night in the village.
This action by the military violates a 2002 decision by the Israeli High Court prohibiting Israeli soldiers from training in the village.
Mayor Haj Sami Sadeq along with visitors from Sweden were witness to the Israeli troops arrival. Attempts were made to speak with the soldiers but, according to Mayor Haj Sami, no one would answer any questions.
There is currently a state a confusion and fear through the village as the mayor attempts to discover more information and seeks assurances. For the past three weeks, just outside the village, Israeli tanks have been firing heavy ordnance through the night in training exercises. The tent homes of Bedouins in nearby El Maleh were forcebly demolished last Sunday.
The village is on a heightened alert due to the recent reject of the village’s land use plan, its right to plan and the Israeli Army’s issuance of 3 day demolition orders. A breathing space has opened as the Israeli High Court has agreed to review petitions submitted by the five families most at risk. Will the Army honor due process?
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