Urbanicide in Gaza

The conscious destructions experienced in the political conflicts that constitute our agenda erase the spatial memory of society and break the link between the past and the future. So how does this happen?

Behind such destruction, the people ethnic, cultural and religious values ​​are erased from the city, It is about laying the foundations for social change after the war. Because a city can only carry traces towards the future with its spatial memory; If this memory is destroyed, society’s sense of belonging will also be damaged.

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Choucha, Palestine, Syria Regions like these are places where we can set examples in this sense. The term used to express this phenomenon is “urbancide”. This doesn’t just mean destroying a city, but also killing all aspects of it.

The destruction of cities during wars has devastating and social effects.


This situation, The city became the main target rather than simply being destroyed In this case, it takes on another dimension. If the goal is to completely destroy the city, then we are facing destruction rather than destruction. The notion of “crime” emerges. This means the deliberate destruction of the city, as well as its values, for the same reasons as the massacre of people based on their ethnicity, language and religion.

This new phenomenon is called “urbancide” in the literature. It’s actually an English term. “urbicides” The word was introduced into our language under the name “kentkırım” by Ruşen Keleş. The concept of urbancide can be briefly defined as the deliberate destruction of a city due to its social values ​​such as ethnic culture, language and religion. If today Gaza It is accepted that what was done to the city was genocide.

Whether the destruction suffered by a city qualifies as “urbancide” depends on the factor of intent.


any destruction being described as urbanocide, can make the concept lose its importance. Although it is forbidden to define this term as a crime, it can be said that a conclusion is drawn around positive and negative conditions. In a positive sense, urbancide is the destruction of a city revitalization of old and neglected areas Although it means modernization and modernization, it also means a lot in a negative sense.

This is why among those defended, urbanocide should also have a legal equivalent, in the same way as the punishment applied to genocide. To simply explain this concept, we must first look at examples from around the world. For example, since 1967 To the indigenous peoples of Palestineespecially Arab and A conscious policy was implemented against the Muslim community This is an undeniable situation.

Even today, practices such as road demolitions, power outages, and forced eviction of citizens from their homes continue. The fact that more than 12,000 houses were burned down is proof of this. The purpose of burning houses is to gather people in a certain area and take control of it. Keeping Muslims out of the West Bank.

The goal of the urbanicide underway here is to completely destroy all traces of the city.

city ​​of Crimea

such as Palestinian housing projects, schools, roads, sewage systems and recycling centers. Municipal infrastructure was deliberately removed. Besides Gaza, Jenin, Rafah, Balata refugee camps, Nablus city, Bayt al-Ahim and the West Bank are examples of urbancide.

In the sieges that continue today Mosques, schools and thousands of buildings are demolished. We use this term to refer to the intentional destruction of the built environment and the social and cultural fabric of the targeted society. It is especially since the 2000s that we have encountered the most striking and destructive examples of Israeli urbanization; We meet again. As we mentioned above, Jenin, Nablus and Beirut constitute the most notable examples of this period. The Israeli army has militarized all productive elements of the built environment in the process of urbanization: bulldozers have now become military tools, while walls have divided neighborhoods.

This operation, which is currently taking place, does not concern physical buildings; it also affects the social and cultural fabric. It wasn’t just about the destruction of a city. We also see that it has become a strategy which aims to eliminate the identity and history of a community.

In Gaza, this manifests itself in the demolition of homes, destruction of infrastructure and direct attacks on civilian settlements.

Bosnian urbanicide

In what is happening in Gaza, we see and hear news every day that places such as basic infrastructure, schools and hospitals that are necessary for people to continue their daily lives are being targeted. This means that civilians’ living conditions become difficult, they are deprived of a safe environment and their fundamental rights are violated. urbanicide continues in Gazahas transformed the region into a field of mass destruction.

It would not be correct to consider urbancide solely as the destruction of the city. Because this situation causes the migration, exile or many other negative situations of thousands of people. In addition not just for people; War-related fires, bombs and weapons also damage the living ecosystem.

This is why, alongside urbancide, of ecocide We must not forget that this must also be mentioned. We hope that this “crime” will end as quickly as possible everywhere in the world.

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