Not only houses are demolished by Israeli occupation authorities.
Schools are also targets of demolitions, as the occupation seeks to ensure that Palestinian communities are restricted to the areas assigned to them and are not permitted to expand into what are considered Israeli controlled ‘security zones’. (Illegal Israeli settlements are generally permitted by the Israeli authorities, however).
It isn’t believed that any of the Yatma schools are threatened be demolition orders, because they are located in areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority.
However there are as many as 2o schools throughout the West Bank which have been allegedly constructed in violation of Israeli occupation laws and have been subjected to demolition orders. These orders have been appealed and demolitions held in abeyance. But recently Israeli courts promised to speed up consideration of appeals. Because appeals are generally rejected, we can expect that there will be a surge in school demolitions in 2012.
There are a very large number of Palestinians in Israeli jails. Some of these are in jail for violent resistance against the occupation, but many are in jail for minor infractions at checkpoints or involvement in demonstrations. People involved in criminal activities are normally dealt with by the Palestinians authorities.
Many of those in Israeli jails are juveniles, often arrested for stone throwing. Under occupation rules, Palestinian juveniles are treated more harshly than Israeli juveniles for the same infractions.
Hastings Friends of Yatma recently attempted to discover how many residents of Yatma were in jail. It seems that in November there were approximately 10 Yatma residents in Israeli jails, as well as three recently released. We didn’t get information about the ages are reasons for incarceration.
Two residents of Yatma were arrested this week, while passing through an occupation checkpoint between the villages of Yatma and Osreen.
There hasn’t been any news why the two were arrested, or whether they were charged.
A number of other Palestinians were arrested by occupation forces this week.
This follows a curfew in Yatma in late December, after settlers from the nearby Rechalim settlement claimed that armed men had fired on settlers. Residents of Yatma were locked down, but no evidence of gunfire was found. It isn’t clear whether the settlers were correct, or whether they were harrassing the residents of Yatma intentionally.
Conflicts between settlers and residents are common in the area, but there have been relatively few incidents between Yatma and Rechalim since the ‘Price Tag’ attacks on Yatma a few years ago.