Comprehensive data regarding Rafah house demolitions

13 Jan 2002

B'Tselem publishes comprehensive data regarding Rafah house demolitions and calls on the Defense Minister: Ben Eliezer, Prepare 123 Mobile Homes

The Minister of Defense in the cabinet meeting today: "If the demolished homes had in fact been occupied, I am prepared to offer the Palestinians mobile homes in their place."

B'Tselem completed a thorough investigation at the site of the demolitions in Rafah on January 10. This investigation reveals the extent of the devastation:

  • 60 houses were completely demolished. These were the homes of 112 families whose 614 members are now homeless. At the time of the demolitions, 84 families, consisting of 475 people, were in their homes.
  • Four houses were partially demolished. These were the homes of eleven families, totaling at least 24 people. They were all in their homes at the time of the demolitions.

House demolitions are a blatant violation of human rights and contravene international humanitarian law, which forbids destruction of property, collective punishment and reprisals.

The IDF and the Ministry of Defense continue to distribute misleading and inaccurate information as to the scope of the demolitions and the fact that the houses were inhabited. These statements are an attempt to evade responsibility for the suffering Israel has caused in this action.

B'Tselem calls upon the Israeli government to find an immediate housing solution for the families that were left homeless and to compensate the victims for loss of property. B'Tselem also calls upon the government to cease house demolitions.