HaMoked to IDF: Retract Punitive Demolition of 11 Palestinian Homes

In the last few days, the NGO HaMoked (Center for the Defence of the Individual) has filed 14 objections to punitive demolitions and sealing orders issued by the military against 11 homes of Palestinians from occupied East Jerusalem and elsewhere in the West Bank whose family members committed or are suspected of having committed attacks against Israelis in recent months. Eleven of the objections were filed on behalf of the families and three on behalf of neighbors living adjacent to three of the targeted apartments. HaMoked is an Israeli human rights organization which aims principally at assisting Palestinians of the Occupied Territories whose rights are violated due to Israel’s policies.


The orders were issued for the following homes: Beit ‘Amra, Hebron District – family home of the single suspect in the January 17, 2016 attack in the South Hebron Hills; Qalandia Refugee Camp – family homes of the two perpetrators of the December 23, 2015 attack at Jaffa Gate, the Old City of Jerusalem; Hebron – family home of the single perpetrator of the December 7, 2015 attack in Hebron; Nablus – family homes of the three suspects in the October 1, 2015 attack in the Old City of Jerusalem; Sur Bahir, East Jerusalem – family homes of the four suspects in the September 13, 2015 attack in Jerusalem.

In the objections concerning the four homes in Sur Bahir in East Jerusalem, HaMoked forcefully argued against the intent to seal the families’ homes, even though the criminal case against the four youths – suspected, inter alia, of stone throwing – was still underway. Moreover, HaMoked recalled that Regulation 119, pursuant to which the military commander ordered seizure and sealing of homes, did not relate to stone throwing cases; therefore, its application in such cases was highly unbalanced and unreasonable.

Another demolition order was issued for the family home in Nablus of one of the men suspected of involvement in a shooting attack east of Nablus on October 1, 2015. The targeted apartment is on the fifth floor of a nine-story building. HaMoked stressed that the demolition may result in many innocent persons not having without a roof over their heads. Therefore, HaMoked demanded that the military reconsider and seal only the room of the suspect, in which he had resided with his newlywed wife, in the apartment of his parents. HaMoked recalled that the criminal proceedings against the suspect were still ongoing and that the man was only suspected of minor involvement in the incident. HaMoked also noted that the demolition order was issued after a great delay, some six months after the attack.

Another objection was filed on behalf of neighbors seeking the cancellation of a punitive demolition order issued for a home in Qalandia Refugee Camp, the residence of the perpetrator of the attack at the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem on December 23, 2015. The targeted apartment is on the first floor of a five-story building, located in a crowded neighborhood. HaMoked asserted that in such a densely populated area, the demolition may cause severe damage to many other apartments and thus harm numerous innocent people.

HaMoked demanded the revoking, or at least the reduction, of the scope of the demolition orders – especially since most cases concern single men living at their parents’ home. In all the objections it filed, HaMoked reiterated that punitive demolition of homes constitutes collective punishment and mainly harms innocent people, including children, in breach of international law. HaMoked reasserted that the efficacy of this cruel measure had never been proven, and moreover, reality proves that this policy breeds hatred and ruin and perpetuates the cycle of violence.

Related: http://www.hamoked.org/Document.aspx?dID=Updates1670