Copyright (c) 2003 Brooklyn Law School
Brooklyn Journal of International Law
ARTICLE: ISRAELI DEMOLITION OF PALESTINIAN HOUSES AS A PUNITIVE MEASURE: APPLICATION OF INTERNATIONAL LAW TO REGULATION 119
28 Brooklyn J. Int'l L. 871
Since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, Israel has employed the practice of demolishing civilian houses as a response to offenses committed in these territories. The use of demolitions as a punitive measure has generated considerable opposition in the international community and among legal experts. These scholars argue that the demolition of houses is impermissible under existing international law.
This article examines the practice of punitive housing demolition by Israeli forces in the West Bank and Gaza and draws conclusions as to its legality under international law. Part II reviews the legal structure in the territories and explains the role of the Israeli courts. Next, Part III discusses the policy behind housing demolition, the justifications given for this measure, and the implementation of this practice. Parts IV and V analyze the provisions of international law relating to housing demolition. Part IV discusses human rights law, while Part V examines humanitarian law as contained in the Hague Regulations and the Fourth Geneva Convention. Both parts review the Israeli application of international law in the West Bank and Gaza before engaging in an independent analysis on their applicability. Finally, the legality of housing demolition will be reviewed in light of the specific provisions of the Hague Regulations and Fourth Geneva Convention.
II. Legal Regime in the West Bank and Gaza
Prior to World War I, the Ottoman Empire controlled the territory of Palestine, which now consists of Israel ...
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