State weighs legalizing Jewish homes in Beit El (JERUSALEM POST) By TOVAH LAZAROFF 04/10/12)
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The state is weighing legalizing Jewish building on a plot of land
that belongs to a Palestinian from the West Bank village of Dura al-
Qara and is located within the Beit El settlement.
The state made this statement in a document it submitted to the court
last week requesting a delay in the pending demolition of five Jewish
apartment buildings on the property, which are still under
It’s the second time this month that the state has said it would
consider legalizing such construction in Beit El.
Last week as well, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said he would
look for options that would allow the state to avoid demolishing five
populated apartment buildings on the outskirts of Beit El, in an
outpost known as the Ulpana.
Both moves are contrary to the state’s policy under Netanyahu to
remove unauthorized construction on private Palestinian property.
In response to a petition filed by Yesh Din, the state had promised
the High Court of Justice that it would demolish the five apartment
buildings in the Ulpana outpost, which house 30 families, at the end
The other five structures are under construction, and already last
year the court issued a stop work order against them.
On April 7, 2011, the state – also in response to a Yesh Din
petition – promised the court that it would remove the five
structures within a year.
On Thursday, April 5, it asked the court to delay the demolitions
until the end of May, in light of the Passover holiday and three
upcoming Palestinian activist events including the Bi’lin conference,
which begins Tuesday, Palestinian prisoner day on the 17th and Nakba
Day on May 15.
In its statement to the court, the state made no mention of
information that it provided last year, which explained that the land
on which the structures were built belonged to a resident of the
nearby village of Dura al-Qara.
Instead, it explained that additional evidence regarding the
construction of the buildings had been collected and presented to a
ministerial committee that met on March 28 that included Likud
ministers Moshe Ya’alon and Bennie Begin as well as Cabinet Secretary
Tzvika Hauser. Relevant representatives from the Civil Administration
of Judea and Samaria as well as the Justice and Defense ministries
were also present.
The state said that it was weighing the possibility of authorizing
building plans and that the matter would be brought before Netanyahu.
According to Yesh Din, the land on which the Beit El settlement was
constructed was seized from the Palestinian village of Dura al-Qara
in 1970 for military purposes. A civilian community was begun there
According to Hagit Ofran of Peace Now, the land on which the five
structures sit are outside the settlements master plan but are part
of the land initially seized by the state in 1970.
A master plan and a building plan would be needed for that land, she
said. The five Ulpana apartments also lack these documents, she said.
But, she added, the land on which they are situated was not included
in the 1970 seizure order. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 04/10/12)
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