Housing demolitions began after the first world war under a British mandate to quash Arab revolts and violence after the fall of the Ottoman empire and the open urban space to construction for the early Zionist settlers in new settlements such as Tel Aviv (see Ross 2019). In the contemporary period of occupation, house demolition has become a strategy – one that is well documented by human rights organisations (B’TSelem 2013; HRW 2008; ICAHD 2017) and international
governmental bodies (OCHA 2017; UNRWA 2017) – that is used by the Israeli military and Civil Administration to dispossess Palestinians of their land in areas of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
The practice of house demolition is geographically differentiated owing to the complex legal delineations on the ground that are the product of different colonial regimes (Ottoman, British,
Jordanian, Israeli) and a peace process that resulted in the Oslo Accords (1993 and 1995) and the
formal division of the West Bank into three areas, A, B and C.