Residents of West Bank´s Ulpana neighborhood agree to quiet evacuation (HAŽARETZ NEWS) By Chaim Levinson 06/20/12)
HA'ARETZ} NEWS SERVICE
HA'ARETZ} NEWS SERVICE Articles-Index-Top
The Ministerial Committee on Settlement Affairs convenes today to
approve a compromise agreement on the future of the families due to
be evacuated from their homes in Beit El´s Ulpana neighborhood, which
were built on privately owned Palestinian land.
Under the agreement, reached between Environmental Protection
Minister Gilad Erdan and Rabbi Zalman Baruch Melamed, the rabbi of
the Ulpana neighborhood families, the residents will leave their
homes next week without stirring up disturbances and move to a
temporary compound being prepared for them in the Binyamin Regional
Brigade base. Eventually, a nearby Border Police base, comprising 18
dunams (4.5 acres ) of state land, will be evacuated and annexed to
Beit El, and 300 apartments will be built there.
The state reiterated the commitment made by Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu that this evacuation does not constitute a precedent for
the future, and that the state will ask the High Court of Justice for
some more time to allow the houses to be dismantled, rather than
demolished by bulldozers.
The court ruled last month that the families must be out and the
homes removed by July 1.
Though some settler leaders and people close to Melamed had been
taking a militant stance on the issue, in the end the settler
"We convened in the hope that God would rescind from us difficult and
evil decrees," Melamed said yesterday. "We debated whether to pursue
a protest or an agreement. No path leads us to the perfect solution."
In essence, the negotiations in recent weeks held by the Council of
Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria, Melamed and Erdan were
fictitious. The settlers agreed to evacuate quietly, which is what
they wanted in any case, and in return got promises they´d already
gotten - although this time there was also a promise to keep them.
Two issues still remain hanging. One is a promise made by the
government to move the Border Police base being evacuated to Migron,
whose residents are also slated to be moved, so that there will at
least be a "Jewish presence" there. Legally, the government can
appropriate any land for military purposes, but the Supreme Court has
already ruled that "military purposes" must indeed be strictly
military, without mixing in any other considerations.
The second issue is the effort by settlers to secure permission to
build homes on land confiscated for military purposes in 1970 and
1978. Many lands within the Beit El city limits are like that, and to
date the State Prosecutor´s Office refuses to allow construction
Once the Ulpana compromise is approved, the focus will turn to Givat
Assaf, an illegal outpost also meant to be evacuated by the end of
next week. (© Copyright 2012 Ha´aretz 06/20/12)
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY