Sha'b al Butum - demolitions

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Michal (reporting and photographing); Translator: Natanya
שעב אל בוטום - מבט כללי
שעב אל-בוטום - צו הפסקת עבודה

Because of a phone call and photos which we had received from the people of Sha’b al-Butum, a tiny town not far from A-Tuwani, we drove there. The view is beautiful, the air is clean, everything is green and the almonds are beautiful. What a dissonance.

On Monday, 14.3.2022, the Civil Administration arrived, in two jeeps, at 10.30 in the morning, and pasted demolition orders for the building of the sheep pens and of new buildings which the owners are trying to build there, at the school.

D. tells  of this and shows us the orders: these are pens for sheep that have been around for over ten years. They just fixed the roof. Paid a lot of money they do not have. Why demolish old buildings? In any case, it will have to be destroyed. It also includes a neighbor's living room and even a cistern.

The school's principal, Ahmad Nawaj’a, arrives and shows the order he also received for the cessation of construction and an invitation to Beit El on March 23 to discuss the matter in court. The principal says that they want to add classes here in the community, so that the children will not drop out of school. There are 46 children here in total. They have to make the journey somehow to Yatta, take roads which are not worthy of the name, and finally give up schooling because of the distance and difficulty in getting there.

"What do we want in total" he says, “peace and education. Why don't we deserve it like the settlers next to us? They receive everything and we are not allowed to live. We want to give education to our children as well, why should we not?"

On the phone, Nasser Nawaj’a, from Susiya, tells me that discussions are starting which will go on for years. Lawyers will take care of their affairs, and in the meantime there will be no demolitions, but all this will continue to embitter life.

Write and tell everyone what is happening here is their request, and that's what we do all the time

I tell people that that is all we can do, even though I feel they are hoping for more from us.

Sheep pens and school classrooms pose a security danger to the State of Israel. Apart from evil and the need to prove the occupier's power, there is no point and no explanation here.

And what will this anger and disgrace bring us? We are going nowhere.

On the way back: soldiers at the Dura al-Fawwar junction, and also in front of the spring. Maybe because of Purim?