Netanyahu: Israel must bolster West Bank settlements while adhering to law (HAŽARETZ NEWS) By Barak Ravid 06/03/12)
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Israel must bolster settlement activity in the West Bank while
maintaining the rule of law, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told
Likud ministers on Sunday, in wake of a newly surfaced plan to
relocate structures in the illegal outpost of Ulpana Hill so as to
avoid their demolition.
On hSaturday, sources close to Netanyau told Haaretz that the prime
minister is examining a two-par solution to the issue of the Ulpana
Hill outpost that will avoid the need for legislation on the matter.
Israel´s High Court has ruled that the neighborhood, which is located
in the Beit El settlement, must be demolished by July 1.
In the first phase of the solution being considered, the five Ulpana
homes in question would be uprootied and moved several hundred meters
to land that is not privately owned by Palestinians.
Additionally, ten new homes would be constructed in Beit El for every
uprooted building, subject to approval by the attorney general.
Netanyahu said this weekend that he would prefer to avoid legislation
on the matter, as legislation would weaken the settlement movement,
rather than strengthen it.
Speaking during a weekly meeting with Likud ministers in Jerusalem,
Netanyahu, in an apparent bid to forestall objections to the move,
said that Israel had to find a solution that was not legislative.
"Our policy is to bolster the settlements, while adhering to the
law," the prime minister said, adding: "We could always go for a
legislative solution, but that has its prices, including in the
The premier added that he intended to relocate the houses in question
to another part of Beit El, to expand construction activities in the
settlement and to formulate a mechanism that would prevent future
lawsuits against residents, saying: "If those three points get the
legal approval, we will be in a good place."
"Our intention is to bring those three points together in accordance
with the attorney general´s approval. We´ll wait patiently for the
AG´s answer, so we can make a seasoned decision," Netanyahu added.
The PM reiterated the state´s intent to establish a legal deterrent
against "those wishing to demolish," saying it represented a "basic
component" in the plans submitted to the AG.
Officials at the Prime Minister´s Office speculated that a response
by Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein could arrive as soon as Sunday,
adding that the cost of relocating the structures a few hundred
meters away would be significantly less than reported, estimated at
several dozens of millions of NIS.
Netanyahu aides have said that the building of ten homes for every
evacuated structure could boost Beit El´s population by more than a
thousand people. (© Copyright 2012 Ha´aretz 06/03/12)
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