On March 8, Israel demolished the homes of Palestinian families accused of killing an Israeli settler on December 16, 2021 at the Homesh settlement outpost in the West Bank. The punitive demolitions displaced 13 Palestinians from three families who were living in the two houses in the town of Silat ad-Dhahr. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinians protesting the demolitions, injuring at least six with baton rounds and live ammunition. Also in March, two other families had measurements of their homes taken by Israeli forces in preparation of punitive demolitions.
Israel’s use of punitive demolitions contravenes international law as it is a form of collective punishment. According to B’Tselem, Israel has carried out hundreds of punitive demolitions, displacing thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as well as in Gaza, since 1967. Israel temporarily stopped the practice from 2005 to 2014 after a military committee found that the demolitions somehow harmed Israel. In 2014, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to resume the practice, and since then, the Palestine Chronology has recorded several dozens of punitive demolitions of Palestinian-owned homes.
This featured entry for the newly released month of March 2022 focuses on Israel's use of punitive home demolitions as a form of collective punishment against Palestinians. The Chronology offers hundreds of entries relating to punitive demolitions and other forms of collective punishment, dating back to 1984.