Netanyahu reveals plan to build 280 housing units in Beit El (TIMES OF ISRAEL) By MICHAL SHMULOVICH 06/04/12)
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Attorney general reportedly approves of construction, which is part
of prime minister’s plan to resolve Ulpana relocation issue
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his Likud colleagues Monday
that the government would build 280 new housing units in the West
Bank settlement of Beit El, as part of a plan to relocate five
buildings in the neighboring illegal outpost of Givat Ulpana.
The prime minister was trying to convince his party’s MKs not to vote
for a regularization bill that would legalize the Ulpana outpost, and
others like it, when he announced the construction plan.
On Sunday, Netanyahu presented an alternative to the bill, a three-
point plan to dismantle the five buildings and rebuild them within
Beit El, a few hundred meters away.
Speaking to the Likud faction on Monday, Netanyahu said Attorney
General Yehuda Weinstein had backed the plan. He also said the cost
of dismantling the buildings would be between NIS 6 million and 7
million ($1.5 to $2 million), and that the cost of rebuilding them
would be another NIS 6 million to 7 million.
The 280 new buildings to be constructed in Beit El would fulfill the
second stage of Netanyahu’s plan, according to which 10 housing units
would be added to existing settlements for each one moved.
Before addressing the Likud faction on Monday, the prime minister
also met with residents of Givat Ulpana in what representatives
described as a “difficult meeting.” The residents were set to meet
with Cabinet Secretary Zvi Hauser when Netanyahu decided to join them.
Hadas Birnbaum, the daughter of MK Yaakov Katz (head of the National
Union), who is currently on a hunger strike to protest the demolition
of the five buildings in Givat Ulpana, was among the meeting’s
attendees. They accused the prime minister of deception and said his
coalition would fall if the houses are demolished, adding that a
solution cannot be made in the “last 48 hours.”
They added that the government had sent them to live there and that
their evacuation is “blatantly wrong.” (© 2012 THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
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