Statistics on punitive house demolitions

Published: 
1 Jan 2011

On 17 February 2005, the minister of defense announced that the procedure would no longer be used. In the period between October 2001 (when Israel began once again to demolish homes as a means of punishment in the Occupied Territories, after four years in which it had not used this measure) and the end of January 2005, Israel demolished 664 houses as punishment.

Despite this decision, in 2009, Israel demolished one housing unit in East Jerusalem and sealed two.

In January 2009, two housing units were sealed in East Jerusalem, as a result of which 24 persons lost their home.

In April 2009, one housing unit was demolished in East Jerusalem, and four people lost their home.

2004
Number of Houses Demolished

People left homeless

January
17
65
February
28
132
March
18
91
April
21
121
May
8
46
June
12
66
July
16
97
August
6
34
September
15
51
October
11
83
November
14
71
December
11
52
Total
177
909

 

2003
Number of Houses Demolished

People left homeless

January
32
496
February
24
159
March
30
252
April
17
139
May
35
194
June
13
120
July
3
19
August
16
142
September
27
127
October
6
43
November
11
34
December
11
80
Total
225
1,805

 

2002
Number of Houses Demolished
People left homeless
January
2
18
February
1*
8
March
3
14
April
May
9
45
June
7
34
July
16
80
August
56
327
September
17
74
October
36
158
November
47
318
December
58
326
Total
252
1,402

 

2001
Number of Houses Demolished
People left homeless
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
5
51
November
2
5
December
3
10
Total
10
66

In addition, the IDF partially demolished two homes (one in Dec. 2001 and one in July 2002), and sealed three houses (in Jan. 2003). In Feb. 2002, the IDF began demolishing another home during the arrest of a suspect, and the demolition was completed after the individual left the house, apparently as a punitive measure.

Note:

In some cases, the army demolished houses immediately after operations to arrest wanted persons. For example, in February 2002, the army began to demolish a house in the course of arresting a wanted person. Although the person left the house, the army completed the demolition. Such instances raise the suspicion that the demolition was a punitive measure, as opposed to the army's contention that it was necessary in order to effect the arrest operation. However, since the house was not demolished pursuant to a military order, these houses appear in the category of “demolition on pretext of military need”.