Collective Punishment Policy: IOF Demolish Palestinian Prisoner House in Jenin
Date: 11 February 2021
Time: GMT 09:45
As part of the IOF collective punishment policy against Palestinians accused of carrying out attacks against IOF or settlers, on Wednesday, 10 February 2021, IOF demolished Mohammed Kabha’s family house. Kabha, from Toura village, southwest of Jenin, is imprisoned in Israeli jails.
According to investigations conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), at approximately 12:00 on Wednesday, IOF accompanied by a bulldozer, Special Unit Members, and Engineering and Explosive Devices teams of experts moved into Tourah village, southwest of Jenin, north of the West Bank. They surrounded Mohammed Marouh Soliman Kabha’s (42) house in the village center and forced its residents to leave along with 10 other families living in nearby houses. IOF fired tear gas canisters and sound bombs to cause fear among civilians and prevent them from approaching. Afterwards, IOF planted explosives inside the second and third floors and remotely detonated them at approximately 20:00, completely destroying both floors. The second floor is 150 sqm and the third floor (a roof) is 70 sqm. Kabha’s wives, Donia Ayoub Kabha (30) and Manar Saleh Kabha (29) and their three children lived in the house.
It should be noted that on Wednesday, 03 February 2021, the Supreme Court of Israel approved the demolition of Mohammed Kabha’s house. Kabha was arrested by the IOF on 24 December 2020 after accusing him of killing an Israeli female settler, Esther Horgen, in an attack in Ahrash Ya’bad , whose body was found on 21 December 2020.
This is the first demolition carried out by IOF within its collective punishment policy in 2021 while IOF demolished 6 houses on the same grounds last year, displacing dozens of Palestinians.
PCHR condemns the crime of demolishing houses that falls within the collective punishment policy adopted by IOF against Palestinian civilians, which is protected by the Israeli judicial system.
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; and 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.