Netanyahu: Ulpana neighborhood will be evacuated (YNetNews.Com -Yedioth Internet) Attila Somfalvi Published: 06.02.12, 20:31)
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Prime minister decides to evacuate Beit El neighborhood in line with
High Court ruling. Each evacuated house will see 10 more built in
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided over the weekend to
evacuate Beit El´s Ulpana neighborhood and not endorse a bill
circumventing the High Court of Justice.
Netanyahu is proposing to move the houses to a military zone inside
Beit El, instead of demolishing them. Each house that will be
evacuated will see 10 new buildings being constructed in the West
Bank, in accordance with the Attorney General´s stance.
"What will strengthen the settlement is settlement construction. For
each demolished house, we´ll build 10 new ones," Netanyahu said. He
stressed that a bill legalizing the structures can expose the entire
West Bank settlement enterprise to international criticism.
Dan Meridor and several other ministers have recently stressed that
the government is bound the High Court´s ruling. However, Netanyahu
remarked that if a solution cannot be found to similar cases in the
future, there will be no other choice but to go ahead with the bill.
The bill stipulates if a West Bank landowner has failed to contest
Jewish construction on his property in court for four years since
building began, the built structures would not be evacuated.
One of the neighborhood´s residents said last week that moving the
houses to another location was "out of the question."
Also last week, it was reported that the Civil Administration is
considering allocating a military zone to the construction of a new
neighborhood instead of Ulpana. The residents said in response they
block the demolition with their bodies.
MK Arieh Eldad (National Union) slammed the decision. "Netanyahu´s
behavior is befitting the ´liar´ label that was given to him by his
partner, (Minister Shaul) Mofaz," Eldad said. "Only legislation can
"He is displacing Migron and Ulpana," he added. "All that´s left for
Netanyahu to do in order to achieve world peace is to shift Jerusalem
to New York."
Meretz Chairwoman Zahava Gal-On said that while she welcomes
Netanyahu´s announced intention to evacuate Ulpana, his "promise" to
build more homes in the West Bank "deals a death blow" to the peace
Gal-On added that the announcement rewards "law-breaking" settlers
and encourages them to commit further violations.
Peace Now Director General Yariv Oppenheimer voiced similiar
sentiments. Oppenheimer expressed contentment with the decision, but
asserted that the decision to expand settlement construction is
detrimental to Israel´s interests.
"Netanyahu´s decision to implement the High Court´s ruling is in line
with the founding principles of democracy, and should be obvious," he
said. "His decision to apply a price tag and expand the settlements
will hurt the State of Israel first and foremost, and will reward law-
´This proves level of Israel´s democracy´
Harbi Hassan, one of the Palestinians who own the land on which the
Ulpana neighborhood was built welcomed Netanyahu´s decision. "This
proves the State of Israel´s level of democracy," he told Ynet.
Hassan, one of the petitioners to the High Court, told Ynet he was
surprised by the decision having felt that Netanyahu and Barak had
tried every legal trick to avoid an evacuation.
"I am very pleased with Netanyahu´s decision," he said. Hassan said
he was not afraid of any rightist backlash. "We are a strong people
and we carry out our struggle only through legal means. Since the
land is within Area C, we expect the army and the government to
protect us in all the areas that Israel controls. Only the government
can protect the Palestinians."
Last month, the High Court of Justice denied the State´s motion for a
deferral of the evacuation of five structures built on private
Palestinian lad and gave it a July 1 deadline for their demolition.
Rightist MKs in response proposed a bill meant to prevent the
evacuation but the prime minister convinced them to withdraw it and
allow him to find another solution. (Copyright 2012 © Yedioth
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