This week several international human rights monitoring groups, including CPT, launched an effort to provide a more continuous presence in villages of Masafer Yatta that have been slated for imminent forcible expulsion by the Israeli military (labeled in red above), which intends to more fully exploit the area as "Firing Zone 918" (white area above). The action threatens more than 1,000 residents (60% of them women and children), whom the military falsely claims are "seasonal" or "nomadic" inhabitants. More than 3,000 acres (1,200 hectares) of Palestinian crop land and 12,000 heads of livestock lie within the zone.
For years the military has already carried out daily "live fire" training around the villages with troops, tanks, artillery and helicopters, often terrorizing villagers with night raids inside their homes, and littering the fields with hazardous unexploded ordnance. The villages of Jinba, Mirkez, Halaweh and Al-Majaz are in particular peril, with 52 of their structures under demolition orders, and with the 1949 Green Line cutting through their fields adjacent to their homes.
CPT and partner groups will now spend days days and nights in the Firing Zone for most of each week, prepared to monitor and document the military's abuse of Palestinian residents and their agricultural lands, as well as any demolitions of homes and infrastructure. For further information about the plight of Masafer Yatta, see This Must Be the Place
as well as reports by UN-OCHA