UK government fails Yatma again

The UK government continues to fail the people of Yatma, and Palestine in general by refusing to sanction Israel for its occupation, while demonstrating this week that it is willing to take sanctions against other countries that occupy their neighbours.

Last week three more families in Yatma were given notice by Israel’s occupation forces that their homes were slated for demolition. That adds to the twenty houses already under demolition orders in Yatma. Most of these families have exhausted their appeals, which are almost never granted.

Each of these families must live with the knowledge that any morning the Israeli army may arrive and give them a few minutes notice to remove their possessions, before demolishing their house. This has happened thousands of times in other parts of the West Bank, and there has recently been pressure by settlers to enforce demolition orders in Yatma.

While our government has been quick to defend the human rights throughout the world, it has remained oddly immobile in the face of rising human rights abuses in the West Bank by Israeli occupation forces.

This year attacks by settlers in the vicinity of Yatma have more than doubled, and scarcely a week goes by that we don’t hear of trees uprooted, vandalism, tires slashed, equipment destroyed and other harassment by settlers on Palestinians in the Yatma vicinity. These aren’t often reported in our media. And rarely does the Israeli occupation administration do anything to stop the attacks.

Since the beginning of 2014 18 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces. Most of these attacks have been examples of excessive and unnecessary force against unarmed Palestinian civilians, many of them young people or juveniles. Israeli military personnel act with impunity; there is little possibility they will be censured, no less charged.

Once again we must ask our government to take the kind of actions that it is willing to use in the Crimean crisis, against the members of the Israeli administration who create and administer these policies.

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