The residents of the Bedouin village of Saawa were removed from their ancestral lands in the northern Negev by the military regime during the 1950s to its present location. In 2000, although the village was already there for decades, the area of Saawa was declared 526 military zone by the Chief of General Staff, Shaul Mofaz.
In 2007 thirty demolition orders were issued for houses in Saawa. After all juridical proceedings ended, including an appeal to the Supreme Court, Court ruled that the decision of the Magistrates Court from 2013, which rejected the request to delay the demolition orders, will not be changed.
On Monday, December 22, 2014, large police forces and Ministry of Interior inspectors arrived at the village and demanded that seven houses will be demolished immediately, threatening that if their owners will not demolish them on their own, the state will bring its bulldozers. On the day after (Tuesday), the residents demolished those seven houses.
State authorities demanded immediate demolition although the dwellers of those houses are negotiating for years with the state and have no other dwelling solution. In the meantime, they will have to stay in their neighbors houses.
The residents of Saawa decided to demolish their houses on their own in order to avoid the arrival of bulldozers and large police forces when their children are at home. This way, residents had time to take their personal belongings out and demolish their houses while their children are at school.
Salameh al-Kasasi, one of the residents that demolished his house said: “They forced us to demolish our homes, who wants to demolish his house and leave his kids outside? this is not a democracy. The state see this demolition as weakness, but we are not weak. The state demolished my house already three times in the past, we didn’t want the kids to see the police and be scared”.
Video from the demolition: