Ya’alon: Gov´t will fall if Ulpana outpost is destroyed (JERUSALEM POST) By TOVAH LAZAROFF, LAHAV HARKOV 04/22/12)
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Vice Premier Moshe Ya’alon (Likud) warned on Saturday that the
coalition would fall apart if the government made good on its pledge
to demolish 30 homes in the Ulpana outpost, adjacent to the Beit El
settlement, at the end of the month.
He was among a number of ministers who spoke out strongly over the
weekend in favor of the outpost. Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz
(Likud) visited the families there on Friday morning.
Culture and Sport Minister Limor Livnat as well as MKs Ofir Akunis,
Ze’ev Elkin, Tzipi Hotovely, Miri Regev, Danny Danon, Yariv Levin,
Carmel Shama-Hacohen and Tzion Pinyan, all from the Likud, are
expected to attend a meeting at Ulpana on Sunday evening along with
hundreds of Likud central committee members.
Sunday’s event was organized by the Ulpana neighborhood residents
task force – which includes Harel Kohen, a parliamentary assistant
for National Union chairman Ya’acov Katz – as well as Moshe Feiglin’s
Manhigut Yehudit group, and the National Camp in the Likud.
Likud sources said other ministers had planned to attend the event,
but would not be able. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called a
meeting of his security cabinet for the same time, a move seen by
some as an attempt to lower the profile of the event.
“The neighborhood may not be removed,” Ya’alon said at a lecture in
“Totally normal people live there, and then suddenly they’re facing
complaints because a Palestinian claims the land is his.
“If the Ulpana neighborhood is evacuated, the coalition will break
apart,” the minister added.
Danon said that “only a left-wing government would evacuate this
neighborhood. The Likud is facing a test it cannot fail.”
According to Danon, the threat to demolish homes in Beit El crosses a
red line for pro-settlement Likud members, and will not be tolerated.
On Friday, Yisrael Katz called on the government to amend it policy
of removing unauthorized homes constructed, like those in Ulpana, on
private Palestinian property.
When the government set that policy, it did not fully understand the
implications, he said.
Residents of Beit El told Katz that the land was purchased from its
Palestinian owners more than a decade ago, but that the Civil
Administration of Judea and Samaria had warned the buyers against
registering it because it would endanger the lives of the Palestinian
sellers. The Palestinian Authority imposes a death sentence on
Palestinians who sell property to Jews.
Although the state gave the Ulpana residents grants and banks issued
them mortgages to build their homes, the state continues to classify
the property as belonging to private Palestinians.
With the help of Yesh Din – Volunteers for Human Rights, the
Palestinian claimants turned to the High Court of Justice. The state
subsequently promised the court it would remove the homes by the end
of the month.
Although the prime minister has said that he is seeking a solution
that will allow the homes to remain, the state has yet to come up
with a proposal. Earlier this month, it asked the court to put off
the deadline until the end of May.
Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar (Likud) also campaigned for the
Ulpana neighborhood to be saved, on both Channel 2’s Meet the Press
and a Saturday afternoon lecture in Kfar Saba.
“To destroy these homes now is unreasonable, wrong and dangerous,” he
said, explaining that, while he does not believe outposts should be
built on private Palestinian land, this principle cannot be
implemented retroactively by uprooting people from their homes.
The education minister said he disagrees with Ya’alon, in that the
government will not fall; rather, it will find a solution and save
the Ulpana neighborhood.
A number of Likud ministers, including Katz and Ya’alon, have lashed
out at Defense Minister Ehud Barak and accused him of wanting to move
against Ulpana for political gain.
Ya’alon said that Barak has “a different political agenda than the
government. Unfortunately, [his ministry] is responsible for
settlements in Judea and Samaria.”
According to Ya’alon, the defense minister has used unnecessary force
to evacuate settlers, to “make sure the Left understands who its
leader is,” and so that Barak’s Independence party will pass the 2
percent threshold to make it into the Knesset in the next election.
Barak’s office responded to Ya’alon’s barbs on Saturday night, saying
that the vice premier has a serious case of “Feiglinism,” a reference
to Feiglin’s Manhigut Yehudit.
“Feiglinism is not good for the country, its security, its future, or
the public in general,” Barak quipped. “I hope, for the public’s
sake, that Feiglinism is not contagious.” (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem
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