Israeli airstrikes destroyed 40% houses in Gaza in war with Hamas, analysts flag ‘domicide’. Explained | Mint
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Business News/ News / World/  Israeli airstrikes destroyed 40% houses in Gaza in war with Hamas, analysts flag ‘domicide’. Explained
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Israeli airstrikes destroyed 40% houses in Gaza in war with Hamas, analysts flag ‘domicide’. Explained

Although Gaza has been damaged in previous conflicts and rebuilt, largely with money from the Gulf states, the current scale of the devastation is of a different order.

Israel-Palestine war: Firefights battle flames in a building hit by an Israeli strike in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on December 9, 2023. Israel pressed its offensive against Hamas militants in Gaza on December 9, after the United States blocked an extraordinary UN bid to call for a ceasefire in the two-month war. (AFP)Premium
Israel-Palestine war: Firefights battle flames in a building hit by an Israeli strike in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on December 9, 2023. Israel pressed its offensive against Hamas militants in Gaza on December 9, after the United States blocked an extraordinary UN bid to call for a ceasefire in the two-month war. (AFP)

Northern Gaza has been destroyed. Incessant bombing, airstrikes by Benjamin Netanyahu's Israel has left nothing but rubble in place of Palestinian people's homes. According to reports, about one-third of Gaza is now destroyed, or un-inhabitable. International analysts have termed this ‘domicide’ - the mass destruction of dwellings to make the territory uninhabitable.

According to a report published by Guardian, as much as 40% of the housing in Gaza has been damaged or destroyed. The UN says 1.8 million people are internally displaced inside Gaza, many living in overcrowded UN shelters in the south.

While the world terms Israel's attack on Palestine's Gaza as genocide and demands immediate ceasefire, a problem looms in the dark. Will Gaza remain habitable for the Palestinians?

Israel had started bombing North Gaza and asked residents to evacuate and move towards south Gaza, which was declared safe zone in October. However, after a brief pause in Israel's air and ground attacks on Gaza, The Benjamin Netanyahu's Israeli army has now intensified their ground offensive in Southern Gaza. This time they have asked residents to move to the Rafah crossing on the border with Egypt. 

Although Gaza has been damaged in previous conflicts and rebuilt, largely with money from the Gulf states, the current scale of the devastation is of a different order.

At issue is whether the scale of the infrastructure damage is a byproduct of the search for Hamas or part of a covert plan to expel Palestinians from Gaza, erasing the possibility of Gaza becoming a semi-viable society in the foreseeable future.

Is Domicide a crime?

Domicide is not a distinct crime against humanity under international law.

The destruction of homes in Aleppo in the Syrian civil war, the flattening of Rohingya settlements in Myanmar and the destruction of Mariupol in Ukraine have in recent years increased focus on the issue.

Israel defends bombing Gaza

Israel says all damage to buildings and loss of civilian life is regrettable but made ‘necessary’ by Hamas fighters. Israel claims that Hamas fighters are hiding in schools and hospitals.

How much property was destroyed in Gaza by Israel?

According to Guardian report, estimates of the level of destruction of Gaza’s buildings are contentious but new use of satellite imagery suggests that 98,000 buildings had been damaged as of 29 November, the start of the now abandoned temporary ceasefire.

The findings were based on analysis of European Space Agency Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellite data by Corey Scher of the City University of New York, and Jamon van den Hoek of Oregon State University.

Among the buildings destroyed or partially destroyed are the main Palestinian court in Gaza, known as the Justice Palace, the Palestinian Legislative Council complex, 339 education facilities and 167 places of worship, while 26 of the territory’s 35 hospitals are not functioning.

Is this another Nakba?

Several media reports have mentioned leaks from inside the Benjamin Netanyahu's Israeli government, including the intelligence ministry, showing officials have been examining ways to force Palestinians to leave Gaza, either voluntarily or forcibly.

 

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Published: 11 Dec 2023, 12:06 PM IST
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