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As part of Application of Collective Punishment Policy, IOF Demolish Palestinian Detainee’s House in Ramallah

Ref: 44/2020


As part of the collective punishment policy adopted by the Israeli forces against the Palestinian civilians accused of carrying out attacks against Israeli soldiers or/and settlers, on Monday, at dawn, 11 May 2020, Israeli occupation forces (IOF) demolished a house belonging to  Palestinian detainee, Qassam Abdul Karim al-Barghuthi in Kuber village, north of Ramallah.

According to investigation conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Human rights (PCHR), IOF reinforced with more than 25 military SUVs,  armored personnel carriers, and a bulldozer, moved into Kuber village, north of Ramallah. They stepped out of their military vehicles, deployed in the village streets and between houses, topped houses’ roofs, and closed the entrance leading to the house of Palestinian detainee, Qassam Abdul Karim al-Barghuthi (26) and indiscriminately fired tear gas canisters in the village neighborhoods. Large number of Israeli forces raided the abovementioned house to implement the demolition decision received by the family on 11 February 2020. IOF  accuses al-Barghuthi, who has been detained since 26 August 2019, of participation in bombing attack that occurred in “Ein  Bubin” area, adjacent to Deir Bzai’a village, west of Ramallah on 24 August 2019, which caused the killing of an Israeli female soldiers and wounding her father and brother.

At approximately 03:30 at dawn, IOF started demolishing the 2-story house, which was built on an area of 180 square meters where al-Barghuthi  and his parents and brother lived. IOF completely demolished the upper floor and caused cracks in the lower floor. At approximately 05:40 on the same day, IOF withdrew of the village amidst heavily firing tear gas canisters. Clashes erupted between IOF and Palestinian young men; no casualties were reported.

It should be noted that IOF raided the al-Barghuthi’s house on 02 January 2020, in which they searched the house in barbarian way and damaged its contents. Also, the engineering unit took the house measurements and made holes in the internal walls in order to demolish it. IOF also raided the house before on 07 November 2019.

Since the beginning of 2020, IOF carried out 4 demolition decisions, as part of the collective punishment policy adopted by IOF against the Palestinian families of those accused of carrying out attacks against the Israeli forces and/or settlers. IOF also handed 6 demolition notices under the same policy in the West Bank.

PCHR  again condemns the crime of demolishing the abovementioned houses that falls within the collective punishment policy adopted by the Israeli forces against the Palestinian civilians. PCHR reminds that this policy is internationally prohibited according to Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which states that: “No protected person may be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited. Pillage is prohibited. Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited.” Therefore, PCHR reiterates its call upon the international community to take immediate action to put an end to the Israeli crimes. PCHR also reiterates its call upon the High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations under Article 1; i.e., to respect and ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances and their obligations under Article 146 to prosecute persons alleged to commit grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention. These grave breaches constitute war crimes under Article 147 of the same Convention and Protocol (I) Additional to the Geneva Conventions regarding the guarantee of Palestinian civilians’ right to protection in the oPt.