House Demolition Statistics

What are the reasons given by the Israeli government for demolishing Palestinian homes?

The majority of house demolitions are conducted for 'Administrative' reasons and are generally because the house was built without a permit. However permits are almost impossible to obtain by Palestinians living under Occupation.

Since the start of the Oslo negotiations how many houses have been demolished?

During the Oslo negotiations (1993-2000), some 740 homes were demolished. Another 5,000 homes have been demolished since the beginning of the second Intifada (October 2000) through 2004.

How many houses have been demolished since the Occupation began?

Since 1967, 18,000 houses Palestinian homes have been demolished in the Occupied Territories, including East Jerusalem.

  • At least 6,000 houses were demolished immediately following the 1967 war. Four entire villages were razed in the Latrun area (now known as “Canada Park”), while hundreds of ancient homes were destroyed in the Mughrabi Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City to create a plaza for the Wailing Wall. 
  • In 1971, Ariel Sharon, then Commander of the Southern Command, cleared 2,000 houses in the Gaza refugee camps to facilitate military control. (Since he was elected Prime Minister in early 2001 he has overseen the demolition of another 1500 homes in Gaza.) 
  • At least 2,000 houses in the Occupied Territories were destroyed in the course of quelling the first Intifada in the late 1980s and early ‘90s. 
  • Almost 1,700 Palestinian homes in the Occupied Territories were demolished by the Civil Administration during the course of the Oslo peace process (1993-2000) 
  • Since the start of the second Intifada in September 2000, about 5,000 Palestinian homes have been destroyed in military operations, including hundreds in Jenin, Nablus, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron and other cities of the West Bank, more than 2500 in Gaza alone. Tens of thousands of other homes have been left uninhabitable. Altogether around 50,000 people have been left homeless (Human Rights Watch, Razing Rafah, October 2004). Hundreds of shops, workshops, factories and public buildings, including all the Palestinian Authority ministry offices in all the West Bank cities, have also been destroyed or damaged beyond repair. According to Amnesty International more than 3000 hectares of cultivated land – 10% of the agricultural land of Gaza – have been cleared during this time. Wells, water storage pools and water pumps which provided water for drinking, irrigation and other needs for thousands of people, have also been destroyed, along with tens of kilometers of irrigation networks. 
  • During the same period (Sept. 2000-May 2007) about 1900 Palestinian homes have been demolished by the Civil Administration for lack of proper permits. 
  • More than 628 Palestinian homes have been demolished during the second Intifada as collective punishment and “deterrence” affecting families of people known or suspected of involvement in attacks on Israeli civilians. On average 12 innocent people lose their home for every person “punished” for a security offense – and in half of the cases the occupants had nothing whatsoever to do with the acts in question. To add to the Kafkaesque nature of this policy, the Israeli government insists its aim is to “deter” potential terrorists, although 79% of the suspected offenders were either dead or in detention at the time of the demolition (B’tselem Summary 2004:1,3). 
    Israel’s policy of house demolitions seeks to confine Palestinians to small enclaves, leaving most of the land free for Israeli settlement.

What was the cost of house demolitions in East Jerusalem in 2001?

3 million Shekels, or $700,000

How many Palestinian built homes in East Jerusalem are defined by Israeli authorities as illegal and in danger of demolition?

About 9,000, as of late 2004

Since the Occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967 how many government sponsored housing units have been built for Israelis and Palestinians?

Israelis – More than 100,000;  Palestinians 500

How many house were demolished in East Jerusalem in 2004?

More than 140 homes.


Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions