October 18, 2004

Map 9: Razing of Agriculture

The destruction of agricultural land took place in a context in which military necessity could not have justified it.The area was under IDF control at the time of the destruction and resistance was minimal, if existent at all (see section above on Tel al-Sultan).Even if there had been resistance, it is unclear what military advantage destroying large swaths of agricultural land so far from the border would provide.

As with the destruction of roads and certain houses, the IDF invoked the threat of IEDs on roads to justify destruction of agricultural land: "IDF vehicles were forced to refrain from traveling on these roads and navigated through the surrounding fields, or other roads, instead," a letter from the spokesperson's office said.[278]While this explains why military vehicles may have traveled through fields, it does not explain why bulldozers spent at least two days systematically destroying every greenhouse in two large areas.

[278] Letter from Major Sam Wiedermann, Head of International Organizations Desk, IDF Spokesperson's Unit, to Human Rights Watch, August 22, 2004.