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Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine
UK architects, planners and other construction industry professionals campaigning for a just peace in Israel/Palestine.


Statement to the International Fact-finding Mission in the Occupied Palestinian Territories

 12 October 2012

From the Israeli Committe Against House Demolitions

Executive Summary


1. ICAHD submits the following information for consideration by the International Fact-Finding Mission on Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory(OPT), pursuant to Human Rights Council Resolution 19/17. This submission focuses on Israel’s protracted failure to comply with fundamental principles of rule of lawand human rights obligations related to
(i) its occupation of the Palestinian territory,
 (ii) repercussions of the Israeli occupation for the Palestinian people stemming from illegal settlement expansion, and
(iii) Israel’s responsibility to respect, protect and fulfill Palestinians’ human rights, in accordance with international law and  standards.2.
The Palestinian population in the OPT, including occupied and illegally annexed East Jerusalem, continues to endure violence, displacement, dispossession and deprivation as a result of prolonged Israeli occupation, in most cases in violation of their rights under international human rights law (IHRL), and international humanitarian law (IHL). In the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, demolitions are a major cause of the destruction of property (including residential and livelihood-related structures) and displacement.

In 2011, a record year of displacement, a total of 622 Palestinian structures were demolished by Israeli authorities. Of these, 36%(222) were family homes; the remainder were livelihood-related (including waterstorage and agricultural structures), resulting in 1,094 people displaced, almostdouble the number in 2010.

As of October 1, 2012, 467 structures have been demolished since the beginning of the year, including 140 family homes. As a result,615 people have been displaced and offered neither alternative housing norcompensation. Most demolitions and displacement (92%) occurred in already vulnerable farming and herding communities in Area C; thousands of others remain at risk of displacement due to outstanding demolition orders.

More than 60% of thePalestinian-owned structures demolished in 2011 were located in areas allocated toIsraeli settlements. All recorded demolitions raise suspicions of having been carriedout in defiance of international law, and together likely constitute a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, to which Israel is a signatory, and which constitutes customary international law.3. The demolition of Palestinian homes and other structures, forced or consequent displacement, land expropriation, and settlement expansion are politically and ethnically motivated. Their goals are to limit development and confine the four million Palestinian residents of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza to small enclaves, thus effectively foreclosing any viable, contiguous Palestinian state, and toensure Israeli control and “Judaization” of the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
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