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coherency between its provisions and Nigeria’s human rights obligations. However, official explanations disclosed that the powers to punitively demolish houses in response to terror attacks derives specifically from the provisions of S. 305(3) (c.), (d) and (f) of the Constitution. “In a practical sense, the emergency rule confers maximum powers on the JTF to enforce those provisions, using every known military tactic”, a senior JTF official told SPACES FOR CHANGE. Ever since, security forces have pursued a concerted policy of forced displacement consisting of demolitions, forced evictions and extra-judicial killings, displacing citizens and destroying incalculable amount of invaluable properties. Apart from security forces, it is now common for government departments, including planning authorities to adopt this strategy despite local, national and international remonstration.

Terror-Linked House Demolitions: The Israeli Experience The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) used house demolition,32 typical scorched earth tactic as a major counterinsurgency measure against the Palestinians in Jerusalem, Gaza Strip, West Bank, with a view to halting militant operations in the occupied territories. More than 3,000 houses were destroyed with very fatal consequences33. Although plenteous evidence shows that the demolition of Palestinian homes is politically motivated and strategically informed in order to confiscate Palestinian lands in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza, and ensuring Israeli control over those areas, the IDF claims that it adopted that policy as part of the 2nd intifada, in response to the wave of suicide bombings. They justified it on the grounds that it served as deterrence against terrorism, and provided an incentive for families of potential suicide bombers to prevent the bomber from attacking. In support of the deterrent effect of house demolitions, government and military officials often cite anecdotal evidence in which relatives of individuals recruited to commit suicide attacks have contacted the IDF and cooperated with the military in an attempt to stop the attack and, thus, save their houses from being demolished34. After several years of implementing this policy, contrary to Geneva Conventions35, Israel’s inability to achieve a total victory over Palestinian terror campaigns, including the continuing occasional suicide bombings, firmly established doubts regarding the efficacy of the demolition strategy. Concerns about the effectiveness of house demolitions as a means of deterrence led the Israeli Army to commission a study in 2005. The study found no proof of effective deterrence and concluded that the damage caused by the demolitions overrides its effectiveness. The General in charge of the enquiry acknowledged that “no effective deterrence was proven except in a few cases, and the deterrence limited if at all, paled in comparison to the hatred and hostility toward Israel that the demolitions provoked among the Palestinians”. As a result, the IDF approved the commission's recommendations to end punitive demolitions of Palestinian houses36.

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According to the report from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 622 Palestinian homes were demolished by Israeli forces in the West Bank in 2011, “forcibly displacing” almost 1,100 people, over half of them children, Agence France Presse (AFP) reports 33 402 people have been displaced and about 1,296 people have been otherwise affected. Source: Wikipedia 34 Efraim Benmelech, Claude Berrebi, Esteban F. Klor: Counter-Suicide-Terrorism: Evidence from House Demolitions, October 2010 35 Adopted in August 1949, the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, popularly referred to as the Fourth Geneva Convention protects non-combatants in occupied territories. Article 53 says: "Any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons…is prohibited. 36 In addition to the IDF study, another group, the radical pro-Palestinian organization, Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) also campaigned vigorously against the use of house demolitions to fight insurgency. The group describes itself as "an Israeli DEMOLISHING FOUNDATIONS OF PEACE

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DEMOLISHING FOUNDATIONS OF PEACE  

This report critically examines the effectiveness and human rights implications of using house demolitions to deter terrorism in Northern N...

DEMOLISHING FOUNDATIONS OF PEACE  

This report critically examines the effectiveness and human rights implications of using house demolitions to deter terrorism in Northern N...

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