Ulpana Committee Resolves More Talk (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Gabe Kahn 05/11/12)
INN} ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS
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The special ministerial meeting convened on Friday to discuss ways of
saving Beit El´s threatened Ulpana neighborhood has concluded without
Participants resolved to "hold further discussions" at a later date.
The committee included Netanyahu, newly minted Vice Premier and
Minister Without Portfolio Shaul Mofaz, Foreign Minister Avigdor
Lieberman, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Justice Minister Yaakov
Neeman, Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe "Bogie" Yaalon, and Minister
Senior officials from the IDF Civil Administration for Judea and
Samaria attended the meeting as well.
Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin before the meeting said any law dealing
with threatened Jewish communities must be justly formulated.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that saving the Ulpana
neighborhood and doing away with the controversial Tal Law posed key
tests for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu´s newly enlarged 94-seat
“The residents living on the Ulpana Hill are law-abiding citizens and
fulfill all their obligations: They serve in the IDF and do reserve
duty, they work and pay taxes,” Lieberman explained.
“This is not an illegal outpost; it is the government’s mistake,"
Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On, blasted the idea of legislating the
government´s problem away saying, "The rest of the Israeli population
does not get special laws."
However, Rivlin noted that illegal Beduin towns in the South were
legalized via legislative fiat last year.
While Netanyahu is said to be mulling a administrative seizure of the
land the Ulpana neighborhood sits on - rendering them property of the
state - there are also two potential legislative tracks.
National Union Party head MK Yaacov Katz and MK Zevulun Orlev of the
Jewish Home party 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 as 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.
However, the Supreme Court has ruled Israeli law does not apply in
Judea and Samaria, which has never been annexed and remains under
Problematically for Netanyahu, the Supreme Court has also ruled that
administrative actions taken by a government are subject to more
comprehensive review by the courts than legislation is.
As a result, either path – legislation or a seizure order – could
place Netanyahu´s newly forged 94-seat supermajority on a collision
course with the Supreme Court.
Likud MK Miri Regev has called for Netanyahu to solve the problem by
annexing all state lands in Jewish communities in the region, thereby
extending Israeli law to all threatened communities in the region.
Netanyahu´s race to find a solution comes on the heels of the Supreme
Court´s rejection of a government petition asking for an additional
90 days in which to explore the matter.
The threatened homes were built on land purchased by Beit El several
years ago. However, the seller turned out not to be the real owner
and the latter filed suit to get his land back. The court ruled in
his favor and the government agreed, without argument, to destroy the
One year later, the government´s legal office came to survey the site
and realized that the buildings in question were permanent apartment
blocks, built in good faith by people who thought they had legal
ownership, and that the legal office should have asked the courts to
allow them to try and find a way to solve the ownership problem
before the court issued a ruling. (IsraelNationalNews © 2012 05/11/12)
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