On Wednesday morning, 30 September 2020, at around 9:00 A.M., Civil Administration personnel came with a Border Police escort, a bulldozer and a digger to the community of She’b al-Batem in the Masafer Yatta area of the South Hebron Hills. The forces demolished two tin-roofed cinder block structures that were home to two families, 14 people in total. The demolition left 10 children, one of them with a physical disability, homeless.
The forces continued north to the community of Khirbet a-Rakeez, where they demolished four tin-roofed cinder block structures that were home to four families numbering 17 people in total, including 10 minors and a woman with special needs. The homes demolished in both communities were built with funding from the West Bank Protection Consortium.
Today, Tuesday, 3 March 2020, at around 8:30 A.M., Civil Administration personnel came with a Border Police escort and two bulldozers to the area of Masafer Yatta, which lies in the South Hebron Hills. The forces used sand mounds, rocks and concrete to block the road connecting the communities of of She'b al-Batem and Khirbet al-Fakhit. The blockage extends travel from Khirbet al-Fakhit to the main road (Road 317) by about 5 km. The road has been blocked before - about six months ago - and local residents removed the blockage.
On Sunday, 23 February 2020, at around 8:00 A.M., military forces came with a bulldozer to the South Hebron Hills. The forces used sand mounds and boulders to block access from Road 317 to two roads leading to the community of She'b al-Batem. The Civil Administration had blocked access to this community several times last year, and local residents removed the roadblocks.
On Wednesday, 11 September 2019, at around 8:00 A.M., Israeli Civil Administration personnel arrived with soldiers, Border Police officers, a bulldozer and three diggers at the Masafer Yatta area in the South Hebron Hills. In Khirbet al-Mufaqarah, the forces demolished three pre-fabricated buildings and a tent that had housed four families, 18 people in all, including eight children. The forces also confiscated a car belonging to the Masafer Yatta Council, claiming it had entered a firing zone. From there the forces proceeded to Khirbet Sarurah where they demolished a utility structure owned by a family from Yatta who farm land in the region. They then continued southwards, to Khirbet Khilet a-Dabe’, where they demolished two cinder block and concrete structures used as housing for two families with a total of nine members, including five children. The forces also demolished a water cistern belonging to one of the families.
Some of the forces also went to the community of She’b al-Batem and, for the fifth time this year, dug deep trenches and placed boulders to block access from Route 317 to two roads that serve the community’s residents to get to the town of Yatta. In addition, the forces used trenches and boulders in several locations to block off a dirt road leading from Route 317 to the communities a-Tuwani, Kh. a-Rakeez, Kh. al-Mufaqarah, Kh. Sarurah, Kh. Khilet a-Dabe’, Kh. al-Fakhit and Kh. a-Taban, impacting other communities as well. Demolitions and restrictions of movement are part of a series of abusive measures the authorities have been taking against local residents, in a bid to expel them from the area and their homes.
Today (Sunday, 28 July 2019), at around 9:00 A.M., Israeli soldiers came to the South Hebron Hills, bringing a bulldozer. They heaped piled up boulders and sandpiles to block access from Route 317 onto two roads that lead to the town of Yata and serve the community of She’b al-Batem. In March this year, the Israeli forces blocked the access roads to the community, but the residents later reopened the routes. The closure doubles journey times from the community to the regional center Yata. The forces also used boulders to block the turning from Route 317 onto a road leading to the southern entrance to the village of a-Samu’a, thereby blocking the access between the communities of Khirbet a-Rafat and Khirbet Wadi al-‘Amayer, to the north of the road, and Khirbet al-Kharabah and Khirbet Ghuwein al-Fauqa, to the south.
This morning (Monday, 11 March 2019), at around 9:00 A.M, Israeli soldiers came to the South Hebron Hills, bringing a bulldozer. They piled up boulders, sandpiles and concrete blocks to block access from Route 317 onto two roads that lead to the community of She’b al-Batem. Earlier this year, in January and February, the Civil Administration had already dug deep trenches to block these roads from the east. Also this morning, the troops similarly blocked side roads leading to the nearby communities of Khallet al-Mayah, Khirbet Wadi Ejheish and al-Kharabah.
On 31 January 2019, the Israeli Civil Administration dug up the road linking the community of She’b al-Batem with the rest of the communities in Masafer Yatta (Greater Yatta) in the South Hebron Hills. Two days later, the local residents repaired the road. Yesterday (Monday, 11 February 2019), at around 8:00 A.M., Civil Administration personnel returned with a Border Police and military escort. They brought a bulldozer and a tractor and re-dug a deep trench across the road.
On the morning of Thursday, 31 January 2019, at around 8:00 A.M., Israeli Civil Administration personnel came with a Border Police escort to the region of Masafer Yatta (Greater Yatta) in the South Hebron Hills. They brought a bulldozer and a tractor which they used to dig a deep trench across the road that connects the community of She’b al-Batem with the rest of the Masafer Yatta communities. The Israeli military had already torn up the road a year earlier, in late 2017, and the residents then repaved it. These travel restrictions are but another step in a long saga of harassment by the authorities against the local residents, adopted in an effort to drive them out of their homes and the area.
Israel’s regime of occupation is inextricably bound up in human rights violations. B’Tselem strives to end the occupation, as that is the only way forward to a future in which human rights, democracy, liberty and equality are ensured to all people, both Palestinian and Israeli, living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.