Israeli Home Demolitions Q&A

Are Israel's house demolitions legal under international law?

No. Under the Fourth Geneva Convention Occupying Powers are prohibited from destroying property or employing collective punishment. Article 53 reads: “Any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons…is prohibited." Under this provision the practice of demolishing Palestinian houses is banned, as is the wholesale destruction of the Palestinian infrastructure.

Are Israeli settlements legal under International Law?

Under article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention Israel is prohibited from establishing settlements: "The Occupying Power shall not transfer parts of its own civilian population into territories it occupies"

Are expulsions of Palestinians legal under international law?

Under Articles 35 & 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention it is forbidden to deport or "forcibly transfer," the local population, including such common Israeli practises as revoking the Jerusalem residency of Palestinians or banning Palestinians from returning from work, study or travel abroad.

Are Israel's house demolitions legal under international law?

No. Under the Fourth Geneva Convention Occupying Powers are prohibited from destroying Palestinian property or employing collective punishment. Article 53 reads: “Any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons…is prohibited." Under this provision the practice of demolishing Palestinian houses is banned, as is the wholesale destruction of the Palestinian infrastructure.

The vast majority of house demolitions in the Occupied Territories are conducted for Israeli 'administrative reasons'. Can this be justified under International Law?

The Fourth Geneva Convention (article 53) states: "Any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons, or to the State, or to other public authorities. or to social or co-operative organizations, is prohibited, except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations."

 

Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions