Category Archives: Yatma

‘Israel doesn’t want to stop ‘price tag’ attacks’ that threaten Yatma

A former head of Israel’s Shin Bet,Israel’s security agency, recently said that Israel doesn’t want to stop the price tag attacks that have terrorised the residents of Yatma and Palestinian communities throughout the West Bank. Carmi Gillon’s comments at a cultural event were reported in Jerusalem Post. He said that Shin Bet could stop the attacks if it wanted (presumably as criticism of the present administration). His comments were echoed by former head of Mossad, Shabtai Shavit.

‘Price Tag’ attacks are carried out by extremist Israeli settlers typically when the Israeli government does something they don’t like. For the most part the victims are Palestinians, although occasionally the extremists target Israeli government property. Attacks are often arson attacks against cars, spray painted walls, slashed tires, burned olive trees, uprooted crops. Yatma and the area south of Nablus have been plagued by these attacks, and the Israeli occupation forces have rarely done anything to identify the attackers. (In a rare exception, Israeli police recently arrested several people from the settlement of Yitzhar, which is just a few kilometres from Yatma).

Olive trees destroyed in 'Price Tag' attacks

Olive trees destroyed in ‘Price Tag’ attacks

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Filed under Olive Tree Campaign, Price Tag, Tree destruction, Yatma

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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Filed under UK government, Yatma

Hastings Friends of Yatma supplies medical equipment for Yatma clinic

HFOY has bought essential equipment for the Yatma clinic. We have been able to supply sterilising equipment; blood pressure, diabetes and blood testing apparatus, and a washing machine . The doctor only makes fortnightly visits and much of the running of the clinic is done by the nurse Mureena – in the photo she is unpacking the delivery with deputy Mayor Mohammed Snober.


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Filed under HFOY projects in Yatma, Yatma

Hastings Friends of Yatma January 2014 Newsletter

HFOY jan 2014

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by | January 22, 2014 · 2:52 pm

Settlers attack village next to Yatma

Militant Jewish settlers have attacked and destroyed eight cars in Qabalan, West Bank. All were owned by local residents of the Palestinian village.

Qabalan is the village next to Yatma, about one kilometre southeast. Attacks against villagers by Jewish settlers are almost four times a frequent as in privious years. The settlers scrawled ‘Price tag’ messages¬† on cars and building, a reference to the policy of attacking Palestinians in revenge for perceived threats against the settler movement by the Israeli government.

Two weeks ago residents of Qussra West Bank captured and detained a group of Price Tag attackers before turning them over to the occupation authorities.

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Filed under Hastings Friends of Yatma, Price Tag, Yatma

UK subsidises house demolition in Palestine

house demolition

In a surprising policy the UK funds the Norwegian Refugee Council, which has a programme to help Palestinians whose homes have been illegally demolished by the Israeli government. Surprising because the UK maintains positive diplomatic relations with Israel, and trade relations amounting to billions of pounds each year. The UK maintains these positive relations while ‘utterly condemning’ the illegal demolitions.

Decades of similar policies make it clear that the UK maintains its commercial relationship with Israel at all costs, and that its criticism of Israel’s human rights policies are for appeasement of a public unhappy with Israeli policies. The UK government has never been willing to go beyond condemnations to stop the Israeli government from its policies. In fact, money paid to the Norwegian Refugee Council can be seen to be a subsidy to the occupation, since it absolves the government of Israel of financial responsiblity for the problems it creates by house demolition.

Up to twenty homes in Yatma are subject to demolition orders by the Israeli Occupation Forces. The Occupation delivers demolition orders when Palestinians build houses in areas the Israelis consider reserved for military purposes (Israelis can illegally build on Palestinian land in the military zones usually without problems from the military).

Yatma is completely surrounded by ‘Zone C’ military reserve. There are no alternatives to building on the military reserve land, and Israeli permission to build is normally not forthcoming. Appeal processes exist but are stacked against the Palestinian homeowner. Once appeals are exhausted houses can be demolished at any moment subject to the whim of the military command. Most houses under demolition orders in Yatma are in this situation.

What you can do:

Keep up the letters to MP Amber Rudd, asking her to take up the cause of Palestinians. Point out that we shouldn’t be subsidising house demolition. Demand that Britain put human rights considerations ahead of commercial interests.

HFOY rubble of house demolished by Israeli forces

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Filed under Hastings Friends of Yatma, Home demolitions, Yatma

Yatma and Human Rights

Today, the day of the memorial service for Nelson Mandela, is also Human Rights Day.

It is worth remembering that the residents of Yatma, Palestine, do not have many of the human rights that most of us in Britain take for granted. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a basic document accepted around the world. Yet on any scale, Palestinians living in Yatma and other parts of the West Bank do not have many of the human rights listed.

1. The right to a nationality. Denied their own nation and living under occupation, Palestinians in the West Bank have no passports, no accepted nationhood, despite living in the same spot for hundreds of years. The Palestinian Authority cannot issue passports, and Israel does not recognise them as citizens.

2. The right to travel freely. Without a passport, Palestinians depend on Israeli Occupation Forces for travel documentation. They constantly¬† fear that if they leave the West Bank they might not be able to return. Within the West Bank movement by Palestinians is sharply curtailed. Without proper documents they can’t visit Jewish parts of Israel/Palestine. Israeli-only roads, Israeli-only transportation systems, Israeli-only settlements, disrupt movement by Arab Palestinians. Security checkpoints abound, and can be thrown up instantly, especially in times of tension.

3. Freedom from discrimination. Many laws, regulations and practises in Israel/Palestine discriminate between Jewish residents and residents of Arab or other descent.

4. Freedom from unequal treatment before the law. Governed by an administration that views Israel as a ‘Jewish state’, the people of Yatma are governed by laws, regulations, and interpretations that apply differently to them than to the Jewish residents of the West Bank. Arab children arrested by occupation forces are treated differently than Jewish Israeli children who are arrested.

5. Freedom from arbitrary interference. The people of Yatma are subject to night raids by the Occupation Forces. When they are attacked by settlers they are offered little protection by occupation forces, and no redress. Palestinian security forces have no jurisdiction to enforce laws against settlers.

6. The right to take part in government through freely chosen representatives. The people of Yatma are represented in the ‘Palestinian National Authority’. But most of the important aspects of their lives are directly or indirectly controlled by Israeli Occupation Forces, which are directly controlled by the Government of Israel, a body in which they have no representation whatsoever.

7. The right to an adequate standard of living. The people of Yatma are desperately poor. Some of their lands and water sources have been seized by Israeli settlers. Some of their olive trees have been destroyed. All West Bank residents suffer from Israeli curtailment of economic activity and the difficulty of attracting investment in an occupied zone. West Bank Arabs are excluded from social welfare programmes available to other subjects of the body that governs them.

This is only a partial list of human rights deficiencies in the West Bank. We owe it to ourselves,  the people of Yatma, and the all the people of Israel/Palestine that we work together to ensure that these deficiencies are redressed as soon as possible.

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Filed under Human Rights, Yatma