Are their homes destroyed?
Since 10/7 nearly 100 killed in the West Bank by settlers... as vengeance for 10/7
Demolition of Palestinian property is a method Israel has used in the Israeli-occupied territories since they came under its control in the Six-Day War to achieve various aims. Broadly speaking, demolitions can be classified as either administrative, punitive/dissuasive and as part of military operations.
The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions estimated that Israel had razed 55,048 Palestinian structures as of 2022.
Administrative house demolitions are done to enforce building codes and regulations, which in the occupied Palestinian territories are set by the Israeli military. Critics claim that they are used as a means to Judaize parts of the occupied territory, especially East Jerusalem. Punitive house demolitions involve demolishing houses of Palestinians or neighbors and relatives of Palestinians suspected of violent acts against Israelis. These target the homes where the suspects live.
Proponents of the method claim that it deters violence while critics claim that it has not been proven effective and might even trigger more violence. Punitive house demolitions have been criticized by a Palestinian human rights organization as a form of collective punishment and thus a war crime under international law.
A new Nakba: settler violence forces Palestinians out of West Bank villages
Communities who have clung on for decades are leaving their homes in the face of rising attrition by Israelis
Life in Zanuta, a Palestinian village atop a windy ridge in the desolate south Hebron hills, deep in the occupied West Bank, has never been easy. The community are mostly herders who raise goats and sheep through the barren landscapes scorching summers and freezing winters, and who have steadfastly refused to leave their homes despite the mounting difficulties posed by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) soldiers on one hand and radical Israeli settlers on the other. But after weeks of intense settler violence in the aftermath of the Hamas attack on Israel on 7 October, Zanutas 150 residents have made a collective decision to leave. Armed settlers some in reservist army uniforms, some covering their faces have begun breaking into their homes at night, beating up adults, destroying and stealing belongings, and terrifying the children.
After decades of a desperate fight to cling on to their land, the community has decided they have lost. On Monday, men and women cried as they dismantled their homes and haphazardly packed solar panels, animal feed and personal belongings on to pickup trucks. The noise of the demolition drowned out the bleating from the animal pens and threw up dust and debris that tore at the eyes and throat. It is a new Nakba, said Issa Ahmad Baghdad, 71, referring to the expulsion of 700,000 Palestinians in 1948 after the creation of Israel. My family are going to Rafat. But we dont know anyone there. We dont know what to tell the children.
After years of legal battles, Israels supreme court ruled last May in favour of the IDF that a 3,000-hectare (7,410-acre) area of Masafer Yatta would remain a military training zone, known as Firing Zone 918, a ruling illegal under international law and one of the single biggest expulsion decisions since the occupation began. Since then, the army and Israeli settlers have steadily increased the pressure to try to force the Palestinian community in the Firing Zone, as well as those living in dozens of nearby villages, to leave.
Demolitions of Palestinian houses, roads and infrastructure have increased since the courts ruling, while shepherds say they are regularly told by the army to leave grazing land, which is then taken over by settlers, or settlers chase them away. Water and animal-feed deliveries, as well as visitors from charities and leftwing Israeli activists who used to help deter settler violence, have been turned back by the army. Since 7 October, settlers have begun beating and using live fire against the activists, as well as Palestinians. New checkpoints have completely isolated villages such as Jimba, making it difficult for residents to leave. Palestinians are held up and questioned by soldiers sometimes for hours at a time, and dozens of unlicensed cars have been confiscated, forcing residents to use donkeys instead.
Whereas when one doesn't, only a very strong impetus will make it happen.