Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory: Planned house demolitions are illegal

17 October 2015

Jerusalem/Geneva (ICRC): The International Committee of the Red Cross urges the Israeli government to immediately halt plans for the punitive destruction of six private homes in the West Bank. The houses belong to the families of Palestinians accused of criminal offences, and the Red Cross says such demolitions would amount to collective punishment.

"Families and communities should never be punished or held responsible for actions they did not personally commit", said ICRC's Head of delegation in Israel and the Occupied Territories, Jacques de Maio. "If this next round of demolitions goes ahead as planned, it will fuel the current climate of fear and retribution, and be counterproductive", de Maio said.

Further to the Israeli Government's announcement, the Israeli Security Forces have initiated the process of punitive demolitions, and these may start imminently.

"Planned destructions like these or filling homes with concrete, in these circumstances, amount to collective punishment, which is prohibited under international humanitarian law", de Maio continued. "We urge the authorities to revoke these orders and abandon this policy."

For further information, please contact:
Krista Armstrong, ICRC Jerusalem, tel: +972 52 601 9150
Nadia Dibsy, ICRC Jerusalem, tel: +972 52 601 91 48
Dibeh Fakhr, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 37 23 or +41 79 447 37 26