Israel's policy, described above, flagrantly violates international humanitarian law. The demolition of houses and the destruction of agricultural land cause extensive damage to the civilian population, which will bear the consequences for many years to come. Injury of this kind to the civilian population cannot be justified on the grounds of "pressing military necessity" as Israeli officials contend.
Because these Palestinians were not involved in combat against Israel - even according to IDF officials - Israel's actions constitute collective punishment. Despite these violations of international humanitarian law, Israel refuses to compensate the Palestinians whose property it damaged in these actions.
Three international entities - the ICRC, the delegation from the UN Human Rights Commission, and the Mitchell Committee - harshly criticized Israel's extensive destruction in the Gaza Strip. They all determined that the policy violates international humanitarian law and called on Israel to cease implementation of the policy immediately.