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Israel Wins the World’s Worst Housing Rights Violators Award

The Geneva based Center on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE) has identified the countries guilty of most consistently abusing and defying international housing rights law in 2002 for its new annual Housing Rights Violators Award. Israel is among the ten states chosen to receive the award.
The list of the top ten housing rights violators includes BURMA (Myanmar), COLOMBIA, CROATIA, GUATEMALA, INDIA, ISRAEL, PAKISTAN, USA and ZIMBABWE. The countries were selected on the basis of reliable data which confirmed the widespread occurrence of housing rights violations in recent years with a particular focus on the previous twelve months.
Over the past two years Israel has continued with impunity to violate international human rights and humanitarian law. International human rights organizations have denounced the brutal policies of the Israeli government, including the practice of house demolition, a war crime under the Geneva Conventions of 1949. Israel fails to abide by its obligations under all international human rights conventions, such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination; the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, a.o.
On the other hand, COHRE was able to identify a number of governments with outstanding performance in the area of housing rights in 2002. "BRAZIL, EAST TIMOR and SOUTH AFRICA exemplify what can be done when the political will of governments is genuinely applied toward protecting human rights and safeguarding human dignity. Emerging from violent and repressive histories, these three governments have taken notable steps in redressing the human rights abuses of the past."
The Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE) is an international, non-governmental human rights organization whose mission is to promote and protect the full enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights for everyone, everywhere, with a particular focus on the human right to adequate housing and preventing forced evictions. For more information on the COHRE Housing Rights Violator Awards Project, please feel free to contact COHRE via:
Attacks on Refugee Camps and Refugee Populated Areas
Attacks on refugee camps and refugee-populated areas violate international humanitarian, human rights, and refugee law. In order to continue to bring attention to the ongoing Israeli attacks on Palestinian refugee camps in the 1967 occupied territories and the urgent need for international protection, BADIL has prepared this short summary of attacks on refugee camps and refugee populated areas. The table covers the period 1 October 2002 through 15 March 2003. The information is based on reported attacks.

# Deaths
# Injuries
Homes Demolished
Homeless Persons
4 October 2002
Askar RC
17 October 2002
Rafah RC
39 families
23 October 2002
Rafah RC
31 October 2002
Jenin RC
6 families (37 people)
12 November 2002
Tulkarem RC
23 November 2002
Jenin RC
6 families
6 December 2002
Bureij RC
7 families
15 December 2002
Rafah (‘Oraiba)
2 January 2003
Rafah RC
23 homes, 2 partially destroyed
85 families (313 people)
24 January 2003
Rafah RC
14 homes, 5 partially destroyed
24 January 2003
Beit Hanoun
1 March 2003
Khan Younis (al-Nimsawi)
2 homes destroyed, 1 partially destroyed
1March 2003
Khan Younis RC
7-storey apartment (explosives), dozens of homes totally or partially destroyed by blast and eastern façade of a mosque, 2 additional homes bulldozed
7 families (54 persons)
4 March 2003
Bureij RC
15 homes, 1 mosque
Included 4 families (32 persons)
5 March 2003
Jabalya RC
10 March 2003
Beit Lahia
17 March 2003
Nusseirat RC
5 families (34 people)
17 March 2003
Beit Lahia

Sources: PCHR, 2 March 2003, Ref: 28/2003; PCHR, 3 March 2003, Ref: 30/2033; PCHR, 25 January 2003; PCHR, 2 January 2003; PCHR, 16 December 2003; Press Statement by UNRWA, 6 December 2002; UNRWA reference; PAL/1937, UNRWA, 10 March 2003; LAW; AFP; UN News Service; Reuters
For more information see, ‘Physical Protection for Refugee Populated Areas’, BADIL Occasional Bulletin No. 6 (May 2001) available on the BADIL website,