Homes Demolished in Israel and Palestine
0 Israeli homes have been demolished by Palestinians,
and over 27,000 Palestinian homes have been demolished
by Israel since 1967.
“Any humanitarian looking at the sheer number of innocent civilians who have lost their homes can only condemn Israel’s house demolition policy as a hugely disproportionate military response by an occupation army... It is a policy that creates only hardship and bitterness, and in the end can only undermine hope for future reconciliation and peace.”
– Peter Hansen, Commissioner General of UNRWA
Statistics Source: The Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions estimates that over 27,000 houses have been demolished in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza since 1967 (as of July 28, 2012). According to ICAHD:
"Since 1967, about 27,000 Palestinian homes and other structures (livestock pens and fencing for example) crucial for a family’s livelihood, have been demolished in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), including East Jerusalem. It is impossible to know how many homes exactly because the Israeli authorities only report on the demolition of “structures,” which may be homes or may be other structures. When a seven-story apartment building is demolished containing more than 20 housing units, that is considered only one demolition."
In addition to the homes demolished by Israel, thousands of Palestinian homes have been destroyed or significantly damaged by Israeli bombing and shelling. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports that during Israel's Operation 'Cast Lead' assault on Gaza from Decemeber 27, 2008 to January 18, 2009,
"3,540 homes were destroyed in the course of the hostilities, 2,870 homes were severely damaged and 52,900 homes sustained minor damage. Some 2,618 homes destroyed or damaged beyond repair during 'Cast Lead' await rebuilding, primarily due to the blockade and restrictions on the entry of construction materials through the Kerem Shalom crossing. "
While Palestinians have not demolished any Israeli homes, there is one known case of a Palestinian destroying an Israeli home in an explosion.
Summary of Israel’s Home Demolition Policy
“During the course of the al-Aqsa intifada, which began in September 2000, Israel has implemented a policy of mass demolition of Palestinian houses in the Occupied Territories. In that period, Israel has destroyed some 4,170 Palestinian homes.
“The IDF carries out three types of house demolitions. Most are carried out in the framework of what Israel calls ‘clearing operations,’ which are intended to meet what Israel defines as ‘military needs.’ These operations take place primarily in the Gaza Strip: along the Egyptian border, which passes through Rafah and its refugee camps; around settlements and army posts; alongside roads used by settlers and IDF forces; and in the northern part of the Gaza Strip [...]
“The second type of demolition are administrative demolitions of houses built without a permit. These demolitions take place in Area C in the West Bank, where Israel retains authority over planning and building even after the establishment of the Palestinian Authority, and in East Jerusalem. [...]
“The third kind of house demolitions are those intended to punish the relatives and neighbors of Palestinians who carried out or are suspected of involvement in attacks against Israeli civilians or soldiers. These punitive demolitions are intended for the homes in which these suspects lived. However, in many cases, adjacent homes are also destroyed.”
Watch B’Tselem Video on Home Demolitions
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