Such designation is used as legitimization by Israeli authorities to demolish Palestinian homes or build on Palestinian land that falls within the zone. The reduction of the size of Firing Zone 912 has not stopped the expansion of settlements in the area, however.
Haaretz further reported that a “master plan” is in the works to utilize land in the firing zone for expanding nearby settlements. As a result, Palestinian homes in the zone have been demolished, and Palestinians living in the area have not been able to obtain building permits.
“There is a master plan for the area that earmarks it for the construction of dozens of housing units to expand Maale Adumim. Work has already begun in the area and a sign has been erected announcing the construction of 88 units in the area, called Nofei Adumim.”
Central Command’s operations officer Col. Einav Shalev indicated the use of firing zones in forcing Palestinians to leave the area, during an address to a subcommittee of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
“Shalev said it was important to retain the firing zones at their full size, and that one of the main reasons the army trains in the Jordan Valley is because of the effect it has on ‘anyone who saw the last division exercise, with fighter jets, helicopters and tanks firing.’ Shalev told the committee that the sight of armored battle vehicles and thousands of soldiers marching makes people ‘move aside.’