Demolition for alleged military purposes

The UN report on the 2014 Gaza conflict rejects Israeli government and military officials’ view of what is permissible in combat in densely populated areas. The UN commission’s premise differs from that of these officials, seeing Gaza as the home of over 1.5 million civilians where combat took place, not as a battlefield on which civilians live. The report states that the immense harm to civilians during the fighting cannot be justified nor can IHL be interpreted so as to legalize it, even considering the modus operandi of Hamas and other armed groups. The commission also found that the responsibility for violating IHL rests with the senior political and military officials who drew up the policy and did not change it even when its lethal consequences became clear.

Brief humanitarian ceasefire in Beit Hanoun, 26 July 2014. Photo: Muhamad Sabah, B'Tselem.
June 30

After the operation B'Tselem wrote to the MAG Corps demanding investigations of the Military Police Investigation Unit (MPIU) into 20 incidents that had taken place during the operation. In each of the incidents, B'Tselem's field research raised serious suspicions that military actions had harmed unarmed, uninvolved civilians, in violation of international humanitarian law. View list of cases and investigations status

Removal of the bodies at the end of Operation Cast Lead from the ruins of the house where soldiers had gathered the a-Samuni family. Photo: Muhammad Sabah, B'Tselem, 18 Jan. '09.
February 1

Three years after Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli military's argument against independent investigation of its conduct during the operation has proven to be hollow. The military has completely failed to investigate itself, regarding both policy choices and the conduct of the forces in the field in particular cases.

Operation Cast Lead: White phosphorus shelling of UNRWA school in Beit Lahiya, 17 Jan. ‘09. Two children were killed and their mother was severely injured in the attack. Photo: Muhammad al-Baba
January 18

B'Tselem responds to an op-ed published by Richard Goldstone regarding the Goldstone Report into Operation Cast Lead. While Goldstone retracts the allegation that Israel intentionally targeted civilians, grave questions remain regarding others aspects of Israel's conduct.

Removal of bodies from the Samuni family compound, a-Zeitun, Gaza City. Photo: Muhammad Sabah, B'Tselem, 18 Jan. 2009
April 12

In an opinion piece, Jessica Montell concludes that "It is vital that we move beyond the slogans and soundbites around Goldstone. Instead, we must honestly discuss how to ensure genuine accountability for past wrongs, full respect for international humanitarian law and protection for civilians in any future military operations." 

April 5

In its end of year summary, B'Tselem warns that the continued siege on Gaza and the settlement enterprise prevent any real human rights improvement. There was a decline this year in Palestinian casualties, and in rocket-fire at Israel, as well as easing of West Bank movement and a decision to ease imports and exports from Gaza. At the same time there was a dramatic increase in house demolitions and restrictions on demonstrations.

December 28
September 27

One year ago today, Operation Cast Lead began. 762 Palestinians who did not take part in the hostilities were killed, and vast damage was caused to houses, factories, and infrastructure in Gaza. Israel has not yet instituted an independent apparatus to investigate the violations committed by the army during the operation, and nobody has been brought to justice.

December 27

B'Tselem has commemorated 20 years since its founding by releasing data on human rights in the Occupied Territories during this period. 7398 Palestinians, 995 Israeli civilians and 488 members of the Israeli security forces were killed in the conflict. At least 10,000 Palestinian homes were demolished for various alleged reasons.

November 22

The Civil Administration delivered orders to demolish two houses in Far'un that were built several years before the Separation Barrier. In 2007, Israel demolished seven houses in the village, which has been harmed by the barrier in any event.

April 6

Authorities must investigate the killing of four Palestinians defined by Israel as "wanted persons", on 12 March 2008. B'Tselem's investigation raises the suspicion that security forces executed the four in flagrant violation of a High Court ruling, which prohibits intentionally killing Palestinians taking part in hostilities when they can be arrested.

March 27

More than 200 Palestinians lived in Khirbet Qassa, west of Hebron. The village was an enclave in the area between the Green Line and the Separation Barrier, whose construction was recently completed.

November 21

During a search for wanted pesons, on 29 August 2007, soldiers destroyed seven housing units, and forced male residents of the neighborhood to undress in front of their families and neighbors.

September 11

On 10 February 2005, Ha'aretz reported that the IDF decided to freeze its plan to dig a trench and demolish houses.

February 10