Israeli invading forces burning Gaza homes to make Strip inhabitable


Israeli media reports that this has become a “common tactic” among Israeli occupation forces participating in the invasion of Gaza.

  • A picture taken of northern Gaza shows smoke rising and massive destruction of residential areas following a series of Israeli strike on December 10, 2023 (AFP)

Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that the Israeli military deliberately burned hundreds of homes in the Gaza Strip, along with all their belongings, with officers from the Israeli occupation forces confirming that house burning has become a “common tactic” to destroy residences and buildings.

According to the newspaper, officers involved in leading the Israeli war on Gaza stated that the house burnings were carried out on orders issued by field commanders.

Three officers commanding the ground offensive confirmed that the practice had become standard procedure during their operations, and in some cases, soldiers burned houses where they were based while conducting their operations.

In one instance, a unit within the Israeli military was about to conclude its operations in a combat zone when one of the unit’s leaders instructed the soldiers, “Take your belongings out of the house and prepare it for burning.”

The report also pointed out that soldiers shared accounts of home burnings, and in one case, before departing from a house, they left a message for their colleagues who would come after them, stating, “We didn’t burn the house until you can enjoy it; when you leave, you know what to do.”

Israeli top officials have repeatedly publicly declared plans to establish settlements in Gaza after forcibly expelling all its residents.

Israeli N12 broadcaster revealed that “Israel” has demolished about 1,100 to establish a buffer zone inside Gaza.

The Financial Times reported last week that the Israeli forces are working to create a buffer zone inside Gaza and demolish buildings on the Strip’s borders to “keep this area completely clean of any [resistance fighters] or infrastructure, rocket launchers, mortars . . . and to give us the freedom of operation in that space,” a person familiar with the matter told the newspaper.

Domicide

Among the prominent public buildings intentionally burned or destroyed by the Israeli occupation forces were the University of Palestine, Khalifa School under the UNRWA, Al-Azhar University, complete residential neighborhoods in the north, central, and south of the Gaza Strip, in addition to hundreds of archaeological and heritage sites in the region.

Last December, analysts told the Associated Press (AP) that “Israel’s” war on the besieged Strip is among the bloodiest and most devastating in recent history.

Read more: Gaza officials: IOF destroyed 1k mosques, dozens of cemeteries

In a recent update, The Guardian revealed earlier this week that the volume of destruction in Gaza prompted experts to label the genocide as a “domicide“, as it not only forces Palestinians out of their homes or shelters but has also made it impossible for them to return to them.

According to satellite image analysis conducted by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), between 144,000 to 177,000 buildings in the Strip have been damaged since the beginning of the war in October 2023 until the present week. 

Meanwhile, another study of satellite images obtained by Corey Scher of the City University of New York and Jamon Van Den Hoek of Oregon State University showed that 50 to 62 percent of all buildings in Gaza have been destroyed.

Read more: Israeli bombing of Gaza most destructive in recent history: Experts



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