Award-winning Al Jazeera’s “Inside Story” series has broadcast an episode focussed on Palestinian home demolitions. Presenter Shiulie Ghosh talks to Jeff Halper, Director of ICAHD, Avi Bell, a professor of law at Bar-Ilan University and a specialist in international and property law, and Bill Van Esveld, an Israel and Palestine researcher at Human Rights Watch, and a specialist in human rights law and armed conflict.
Watch it below:
Israel is justifying the recent destruction of Palestinian homes in Hebron and elsewhere as a punitive and personal message to those perpetrators, sometimes suspected only, of “terrorist attacks”.
The Israeli government largely abandoned the practice in 2005. But on Sunday, the military demolished the homes of two Palestinians suspected of killing three Israeli settlers in June, and sealed a third with concrete.
Shiulie begins the programme by asking Jeff and the others about the use of home demolitions as collective punishment – a war crime according to the Geneva Convention – but her questions begin then to cover the broader issue of demolitions of homes built after refused permit applications, the demolitions of Bedouin tents and other structures.
Prof Jeff Halper exposes succinctly Israel’s failure to follow due process of law and highlights many of Prof Bell’s claims, describing how they go against any cursory examination of “facts on the ground”. Bill van Esveld explains with clarity how many Israeli policies do not comply with international human rights law or the Geneva Convention, to which Israel is a state signatory.