Israeli court backs West Bank evictions

·1-min read

Israel's top court has approved the eviction of 1300 Palestinians from an area designated as an army training ground in the occupied West Bank.

Human rights activists criticised the decision on Thursday, which came after a legal battle lasting more than 20 years.

Called "Firing Zone 918," the area of more than 3300 hectares is located near Hebron in the southern West Bank.

Shepherds and farmers live there in eight Palestinian villages.

The army had declared the area a military exclusion zone at the beginning of the 1980s.

The court rejected the Palestinian residents' argument that they had lived there before.

The Israeli human rights organisation B'Tselem wrote that the decision served the purpose of "taking over their lands in the service of Jewish interests".

"The justices have thus proved once again that the occupied cannot expect justice from the occupier's court," B'Tselem said.

The international community must prevent Israel from expelling the residents from the area, it said.

The Israeli Civil Liberties Union warned of "grave consequences".

Israel conquered the West Bank and East Jerusalem, among other territories, during the 1967 Six-Day War.

About 600,000 Israelis live there today in more than 200 settlements.

In 2016, the United Nations Security Council described these settlements as a violation of international law and called on Israel to stop all settlement activities.

The Palestinians want to establish their own state in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting