PM to hold special ministerial meeting on Ulpana (JERUSALEM POST) By TOVAH LAZAROFF, JPOST.COM STAFF 05/11/12)
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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will convene a special ministerial
meeting on the fate of the Ulpana outpost on Friday, Israel Radio
The meeting will include: Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Minister-
without-Portfolio Bennie Begin, Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe
Ya’alon, Kadima party chairman Shaul Mofaz and Attorney- General
In a last-ditch effort to save 30 Ulpana outpost homes from
demolition, two parliamentarians plan to ask the Knesset next week to
approve legislation to retroactively authorize the structures located
on the outskirts of the West Bank settlement of Beit El.
Both MKs, National Union Party head Ya’acov Katz and Zevulun Orlev
(Habayit Hayehudi) plan to present separate bills on the matter, for
which they believe there is majority support.
It is unclear if bills will be presented to the plenum on Monday or
Wednesday. Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin has yet to place them on the
schedule. The vote is considered a preliminary reading, after which
the bills must move to committee and return to the plenum.
The timing was inspired by last Monday’s High Court of Justice ruling
ordering the state, by July 1, to demolish the 30 Ulpana homes, which
were constructed without the proper permits on land classified by the
state as private Palestinian property.
But the bills deal with the larger issue of unauthorized outposts. If
the plenum passes the bills and they survive judicial challenges, the
legislation would transform dozens of fledgling hilltop communities
into new legal settlements under Israeli law.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has yet to publicly state his
opinion on the matter.
On Thursday, the Makor Rishon newspaper published details of a
conversation between Netanyahu and Rivlin on the matter. According to
the paper, Netanyahu told Rivlin that he would free coalition members
to vote with their conscience, rather than opposing the legislation
has he has done in the past.
An official in the Prime Minister’s Office said that Netanyahu was
looking at different options within the framework of the law.
Orlev told The Jerusalem Post he believes that there is enough
support to pass the bills.
On Wednesday, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman told journalists that
he supported legislation to authorize the outposts.
Katz’s bill seeks legislation for those West Bank outposts
constructed with governmental funds or initial technical approvals.
In instances where such fledgling settler communities were built on
private Palestinian land, it suggests compensating landowners rather
than evacuating outpost residents.
The legislation would also retroactively legalize homes within West
Katz’s spokesman said he believed that some 9,000 already existing
structures would be impacted by the bill.
Peace Now Executive Director Yariv Oppenheimer said that the bills
were a test case for the new national unity coalition.
The question, he said, is whether the parliamentarians will
support “land theft” or reject the bills and show “they are committed
to the basic principles of democratic life and rule of law.” (© 1995-
2011, The Jerusalem Post 05/11/12)
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