B'Tselem: High Court 'rubber stamp' for IDF house demolitions

By Haaretz Service and Itim

Haaretz

Kislev 3, 5765

The Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem slammed the High Court of Justice on Monday, accusing it of acting as a "rubber stamp" for government policy regarding demolitions of Palestinian homes in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

According to the group's annual report published Monday, the Israel Defense Forces has been responsible for demolition of 4,100 homes in the territories since the start of the intifada in September 2000, leaving 28,000 Palestinians homeless.

The report says that 628 housing units, which were home to 3,983 people, were demolished as a punitive measure, which constitutes a breach of international law and is therefore a war crime. The report also states that 295 of the 628 buildings - almost half - were never home to anyone suspected of involvement in attacks against Israelis.

Thus, the group says, 1,286 innocent people were made homeless.

The report also claims that "contrary to its argument before the High Court of Justice that prior warning is given except in extraordinary cases," the IDF only gave advance notice of demolition in less than 3 percent of cases.