October 18, 2004

Razing Rafah:

Mass Home Demolitions in the Gaza Strip

Map 1: Gaza Overview..
I. SUMMARY..
A Pattern in the Rubble
Tunnels
Protecting the Border
Rampage in Rafah: May 2004
Doctrines of Destruction
Nowhere to Turn
Methodology
II. RECOMMENDATIONS
III. BACKGROUND...
The Uprising in Gaza: From Closure to "Disengagement"
Map 2: Rafah Features
Rafah
Mass Demolition: Security Rationales, Demographic Subtexts
IV. THE SECURITY SITUATION IN RAFAH..
The IDF and Palestinian Armed Groups
Fighting on the Border
Smuggling Tunnels in Rafah
An Overview..
Tunnels vs. Shafts
Destruction Around Inoperative Tunnels
Alternatives to House Destruction
V. THE RAFAH BUFFER ZONE SINCE 2000
The Expanding Buffer Zone
Map 3: Buffer Zone Expansion
New Realities: Widening the Buffer Zone
Map 4 : Existing and Proposed Buffer Zones
Impact of Destruction
VI. A VIOLENT SEASON: DESTRUCTION IN RAFAH, MAY 2004
Rampage in Rafah: An Overview..
Map 5: IDF Operations in Rafah May 2004
Rafah Incursions by Neighborhood, May 12-24
Block O & Qishta (evening May 12-morning May 15)
Tel al-Sultan (May 18-May 24)
Map 6: Tel al-Sultan 2004
Brazil and Salam (evening May 19-morning May 24)
Map 7: Brazil Features
Tactics of Destruction102
Home Demolitions to Enhance Mobility103
Infrastructure Destruction103
Map 8: Brazil Destruction During Operation Rainbow.. 104
Razing Agricultural Land108
Map 9: Razing of Agriculture109
VII. ROLE OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY.. 110
Paying for the Mess111
VIII. PROPERTY DESTRUCTION UNDER INTERNATIONAL AND ISRAELI LAW... 115
International Humanitarian Law.. 115
Responsibilities of an Occupier: Military Operations vs. Security Measures116
Destruction of Property in Occupation: Military Operations and Absolute Necessity118
Control of Property in Occupation: Security Measures and Rights122
Human Rights Law and Occupied Territories123
Forced Evictions and the Right to Adequate Housing125
Right to Effective Remedies126
Israeli Jurisprudence and Law.. 127
Exceptions Over the Rule: Israeli Courts and Destruction of Property127
Reparations130
IX. Appendix: Statements by International Community Condemning Destruction in Rafah131
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS133