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 Destruction
Home Demolitions to Enhance Mobility
Infrastructure Destruction
Map 8: Brazil Destruction During Operation Rainbow
Razing Agricultural Land
Map 9: Razing of Agriculture
VII. ROLE OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
Paying for the Mess
VIII. PROPERTY DESTRUCTION UNDER INTERNATIONAL AND ISRAELI LAW
International Humanitarian Law
Responsibilities of an Occupier: Military Operations vs. Security Measures
Destruction of Property in Occupation: Military Operations and Absolute Necessity
Control of Property in Occupation: Security Measures and Rights
Human Rights Law and Occupied Territories
Forced Evictions and the Right to Adequate Housing
Right to Effective Remedies
Israeli Jurisprudence and Law
Exceptions Over the Rule: Israeli Courts and Destruction of Property
Reparations
IX. Appendix: Statements by International Community Condemning Destruction in Rafah
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS