According to Channel 2, Israeli forces have been conducting trainings and maneuvers for the last week in order to prepare “to face Palestinian protesters while demolishing houses in Palestinian villages.”
The trainings were conducted in fake towns that embodied Palestinian villages, where Israeli soldiers were training on how to face protesters, raid the homes and conduct the demolitions.
The issue of home demolitions in Israel has been in the limelight since the beginning of the year, notably due to the outrage caused by the demolitions in the town of Qalansawe and the deadly demolition raid in Umm al-Hiran in January.
The spike in home demolitions in Palestinian-majority areas of Israel has come after Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem reached a record high in 2016, with Israel demolishing a 1,093 structures in the occupied Palestinian territory in 2016, displacing 1,601 Palestinians, according to the UN.
Since the start of 2017, Israeli forces have already demolished 168 Palestinian structures in the occupied territory, displacing at least 276 Palestinians, according to UN documentation, while Israel has also targeted Palestinians communities inside Israel with demolitions, which rights groups argued were part of the same Israeli policy of forcible displacement also carried out against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.