'They smashed our hearts and souls’

Border police demolish Tammy Guttman's home in Migron: "We offered to move it but they just wanted to destroy."

Tammy Guttman Migron demolition (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Tammy Guttman Migron demolition
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
A knock at her door at 12:30 a.m. pushed Tammy Guttman into a nightmare from which she still hoped to wake as she surveyed the rubble of her Migron home at dawn on Monday morning.
Her washing machine stood on the grass. Her children were with neighbors.
She still didn’t know which of her possessions were under the rubble or strewn on the lawn.
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All summer, her home, along with two others in the small hilltop outpost in the Binyamin region of the West Bank, had been under threat of destruction.
When September arrived, and nothing had happened, she thought they had averted that fate.
“I thought if they didn’t destroy the homes in the summer, why would they do it now that the school year has started,” she said.
So she, her husband and their five children went to sleep Sunday as if it was any other night.
She missed the initial warnings that had spread through the Migron outpost of the pending demolitions of three homes, including hers.
Then the Border Police knocked on her door.
“They shouted, ‘Get out, get out,” she recalled, her eyes wet with tears.
“They are simply cruel,” she said, as she held her arms across her chest.
Within minutes, she and her husband moved their five children out of the homes. She and her husband, Uriel, were forcibly removed. Uriel pointed to a hole in his gray T-shirt, which he said came from being pushed and shoved by the Border Police.
They didn’t even get a chance to pack, Guttman said, and added that the IDF had used Arab workers to clear out their homes, a point she said she felt particularly bitter about.
She was aware when constructing the home that its future and that of the outpost was uncertain. For that reason, she said, the one-story house with its red roof was constructed in such a way that it could have been moved.
She had assumed that should the outpost be forced to relocate, they would bring their home with them.
“My husband took a year off from work to plan and build it. We lived here for a year,” she said. “He is connected to it emotionally. We offered to move it but they just wanted to destroy.”

Worse, she said, high officials in the IDF promised they would be notified if there were plans.
“And they lied,”she said.
“What we know is that right-wing governments want to destroy and to sacrifice and to lie.”
As she stood there, people she knew, and those she didn’t, came to speak with her and hug her.
They offered advice, and assured her that events happened for a reason, and that possibly there would be some good that would come out of even this.
“They destroyed the ground from under our feet and smashed our hearts and souls,” she said.