Yesterday, Sunday, July 28, 2002, Israeli forces demolished the home of Musa Jaradat in Wadi Burqeen in the Jenin distrcit. The three-floor building is owned by Musa Jaradat and his son Majdi, who was extra-judicially executed in May 2001 in Jenin refugee camp.
Eyewitnesses told LAW that a large number of Israeli soldiers, tanks and a bulldozer surrounded the home at 9.30. The home hosts eleven persons, including six children. The Israeli forces prevented Jaradat’s family
from saving any belongings from their home before the home was demolished. They were forced out of their home before it was destroyed. Israeli forces used tank fire and a bulldozer to demolish the 250 square meter building.
There can be little doubt that this home demolition, as punishment, is a collective one, primarily affecting people whose only crime is to be related to a person, who has been executed by the Israeli occupation army. The punishment of individuals for an action for which they are not personally responsible is properly termed collective punishment. Also
during the previous intifada, Israeli occupation authorities have used this punitive measure as a methodical reprisal against individuals and their families. The demolition of homes of those who have not been tried, convicted, or even arrested, reinforces the conclusion that demolitions are an extra-judicial form of reprisal.
Destruction of property in occupied territories is forbidden under article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. It constitutes collective punishment, which explicitly prohibited by article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. It further constitutes extra-judicial punishment and arbitrary interference in home and property. Despite the clear illegality of this punitive measure, Israeli occupation authorities have resorted to it throughout the occupation, and have indeed stepped up home demolitions during the second intifada.
LAW condemns Israel’s policy of demolishing Palestinian homes, which has resulted in rendering hundreds of Palestinian families homeless. LAW reiterates the urgent call for an immediate international protection for Palestinian people; the international community must act now to stop Israel’s blatant human rights violations and provide protection for Palestinian people in the occupied territories.
LAW - The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment, PO Box 20873, Jerusalem, tel. +972-2-5833530, fax. +972-2-5833317, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, web: www.lawsociety.org