In order to maintain the preparedness of the various security forces operating in Judea & Samaria, the IDF must hold training exercises in the area. For this purpose, during the 1970's and 1980's, certain unpopulated areas were declared as restricted military zones, and serve as training grounds (firing zones).
Defining an area as a restricted military zone was done by force of the British law in effect in the area and article 90 of the Security Directives Order (Judea & Samaria) (Number 378), 1970 (now article 318 of the Security Directives Order [consolidated version](Judea & Samaria)(number 1651), 2009).
This measure was taken also as a means to fulfill the military commander's duty to take all necessary measures to safeguard the security and order in the area, as prescribed by article 43 of the Hague Regulations Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land of 1907. It should be emphasized, that creating restricted areas, for training purposes, and enforcing these restrictions is done in accordance with the accepted standards of international law.
Prior to the declaration of a specific area as a restricted military zone, the IDF command with the assistance of the relevant authorities, thoroughly surveyed the area in order to be sure that the area was un-populated and that the use of the area would not disrupt the lives of residents, living in the surrounding areas.
Once an area is declared a restricted military zone, it is prohibited to enter or be found within the area unless carrying a permit. Additionally, security forces are authorized to take steps to remove trespassers. With regard to training zones, these steps are taken, among other things, to prevent the potential safety hazards which may arise in an area where military exercises take place.
Starting with the declaration of training zones in the area, and especially in the past 20 years, there is a growing trend of trespassing, including illegal construction, in declared training zones. This trend is not only illegal and causes difficulties for the forces attempting to train in the area, but also poses a real danger to the people present in the training zones.
In order to cope with this phenomenon, the enforcement and inspection authorities hand out eviction notices to trespassers found within the training zones. The trespassers are given a reasonable time to voluntarily leave the zone, before eviction, or to submit claims against their eviction, to the Civil Administration or to the relevant legal forums. Concurrently, the civil administration takes steps, in accordance with the Jordanian City, Villages and Building Law, No. 79 of 1966, in effect in the area, to remove illegal construction from the restricted zones.
Nevertheless, in consideration of the residents in surrounding areas, the military commander usually allows civilians to enter restricted zones on weekends, holidays and other time periods when no training takes place, in order to graze herds, cultivate land, have day trips etc.
Throughout the years, various petitions have been filed to the Supreme Court to stop the use of these areas for training and to try and prevent the eviction of trespassers. The Supreme Court recognized that creating restricted areas for military training is essential to the public interest of maintaining security and order in the area.
The Supreme Court also addressed issues, pertaining to the eviction of trespassers. For example, in a recent ruling, HCJ 7281/13, the court ruled that the presence of trespassers in a restricted area endangers their lives and the law of the area allows for their removal. Another recent ruling, HCJ 613/10, found that a trespasser wishing to remain in a restricted area must show he or she is not a trespasser, by proving he or she was a permanent resident in the area prior to it becoming restricted.