´Ulpana to serve as unity government´s first test´ (YNetNews.Com -Yedioth Internet) Moran Azulay Published: 05.09.12, 08:33)
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Controversy over impending eviction, razing of contested Beit El
neighborhood to become new, extended Coalition´s first true obstacle
The controversy over the impending eviction of Ulpana, a neighborhood
built on contested land in the West Bank settlement of Beit El, is
likely to become the new unity government´s first test, political
analysts ventured Wednesday.
On Monday, the High Court denied the State´s petition to review the
case and postpone the area´s evacuation, imposing a July 1 deadline
for its razing.
In his ruling, Chief Justice Asher Grunis admonished the State,
saying that "It is in the State´s proceedings vis-à-vis the High
Court that its commitment to upholding the principles of law, is
The decision enraged the Right, with several Likud ministers urging
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to pursue legislation that would
circumvent the court´s ruling.
While Netanyahu and Kadima Chairman Shaul Mofaz reached various
ideological agreements as part of the unity government agreement –
most notably regarding an alternative to Tal Law and a change in the
system of government – the two parties are divided on Ulpana.
The Likud is adamant that a solution must be found to prevent the
neighborhood´s eviction, while Kadima insists that the High Court´s
ruling in the matter be upheld in full.
"I believe in the Rule of Law in Israel and we will devise a solution
accordingly," Mofaz said on Tuesday.
"This is a serious situation and we are giving it serious thought,"
Netanyahu is expected to call several meetings on the matter in the
coming days, with top ministers, security officials and Justice
Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein has voiced his objection to any
form of by-pass legislation, but Netanyahu is likely to explore that
Still, the prime minister´s associates said Wednesday that
Netanyahu´s "final decision on the matter will be made only after all
the alternatives are reviewed."
Meanwhile, many in the Likud expressed concern that the coalition,
which numbers an unprecedented 94 Knesset members, is far from stable.
Likud sources told Ynet that top party members do not believe Kadima
will truly survive Mofaz´s decision to join Netanyahu´s government.
Should Kadima experience a split, Likud sources said it is likely
those leaving it will join forces with former party chairwoman Tzipi
Livni in a new political party.
Should Livni choose to form a new party under the new political
reality, the move will likely deal an electoral blow to both Labor
and Yair Lapid´s party.
Kadima itself is still reeling from its chairman´s political
zigzagging: Party sources told Ynet that hundreds of registered
Kadima voters informed the party´s secretariat that they wish to
revoke their membership.
Shaul Mofaz will be sworn in as a minister later on Wednesday. Labor
Chairwoman Shelly Yachimovich will then be sworn in as head of the
Opposition. Itamar Fleishman and Attila Somfalvi contributed to this
report (Copyright 2012 © Yedioth Internet 05/09/12)
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