Both Security and Justice

for Palestinians as well as Israelis

House Demolition in the Israeli–Palestinian Conflict [Wikipedia URL]

and the Story of Rachel Corrie

Wikipedia may occasionally contain information that has not been validated.


House demolitions and the story of Rachel Corrie


House demolition is a controversial tactic used by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and Israeli settlers in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip against Palestinians.


Official IDF explanations for house demolitions include use as a counter-insurgency security measure to impede or halt militant operations,[1] as a regulatory measure to enforce building codes and regulations,[2] and as a deterrent against terrorism in the occupied territories.[3]


Human rights organizations and the United Nations criticize the ongoing demolitions[4] of Palestinian homes as violating international law, and contend that Israeli governments actually use demolitions to collectively punish Palestinians[1] and to seize property for the expansion of Israeli settlements.[5][6]

House demolitions are also used to remove illegal (by Israeli law) Israeli settlements.[7]


IDF arguments

House demolition is typically justified by the IDF on the basis of:

Human rights organisations' criticism

The United Nations (UN) and human rights groups such as Amnesty International and the International Committee of the Red Cross who oppose the house demolitions reject the IDF's claims, and document numerous instances where they argue the IDF's claims do not apply.[1] They accuse the Israeli government and IDF of other motives:

According to the United Nations, about 1,500 homes were demolished by the IDF just in the Rafah area in the period 2000-2004.[11]


In 2004, Human Rights Watch published the report 'Razing Rafah: Mass Home Demolitions in the Gaza Strip'.[12][13] The report documented what it described as a "pattern of illegal demolitions" by the IDF in Rafah, a refugee camp and city at the southern end of the Gaza Strip on the border with Egypt where sixteen thousand people lost their homes after the Israeli government approved a plan to expand the de facto "buffer zone" in May 2004.[13][14] The IDF’s main stated rationales for the demolitions were; responding to and preventing attacks on its forces and the suppression of weapons smuggling through tunnels from Egypt[15]


Rachel Corrie

Rachel Aliene Corrie (April 10, 1979 – March 16, 2003) was an American member of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). She was killed in the Gaza Strip by an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) bulldozer when she was standing or kneeling in front of a local Palestinian's home, thus acting as a human shield, attempting to prevent the IDF from demolishing the home. The IDF stated that the death was due to the restricted angle of view of the IDF Caterpillar D9 bulldozer driver, while ISM eyewitnesses said "there was nothing to obscure the driver's view."[1] A student at The Evergreen State College, she had taken a year off to travel to the Gaza Strip during the Second Intifada.[2]


See also Chicago Hearing Video #6 entitled American Activist Killed in Gaza


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