, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 385-395

Housing demolition and refugee resettlement schemes in the Gaza Strip

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Abstract

This case study examines Israeli resettlement policy and housing demolition measures practiced in the Gaza Strip. Since the Gaza Strip is distinguished by a huge concentration of dispossessed Palestinian refugees maintained in large camps, the Israeli authorities, from the early stage of the 1967 occupation of the area, have devoted major effort to breaking up the camps and relocating their inhabitants elsewhere. The Israeli authorities have applied a clear policy of systematic destruction of refugee shelters and initiation of resettlement schemes, aimed in the short run at making the refugee camps less congested, while in the long run, the policy appears designed to remove these camps from the landscape entirely, since they remain a constant reminder of Palestinian uprootedness and exile. To date, the Israeli strategy of demolishing the entire refugee camp network has failed to achieve its final objective.