The political Left was enraged Friday by the State's High Court appeal over the pending eviction of the Ulpana neighborhood,
located in the West Bank settlement of Beit El.
The State informed the court that the government wishes to renege on its commitment to evacuate the area by May 1, pending a review of its policies regarding the razing of West Bank structures built on contested land.
The government, the State Prosecutor's Office argued, "Believes that the narrow interpretation of the law, by which a structure's fate is determined, can no longer be applied to the situation on the ground.
"It is pursuing new policies, by which decisions regarding structures built on land whose ownership is contested, will be made on a case-by-case merit."
The State Prosecutor's Office further argued that Ulpana must be seen as a test case and an example for the need for a more current policy.
Ulpana (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
The residents of Ulpana said that they were pleased "That the government has finally gotten hold of the reins of sovereignty and has given tangible expression to the rule of law, justice and morality."
Yesh Din Attorney Michael Sefarad, who represents the Palestinian petitioners in the case, said in response that "Today, the Israeli government has declared war against the rule of law.
"The government, in its political despair, is assisting the theft of Palestinian land and it is razing the moral values upon which the State of Israel was founded," he said.
issued a statement saying that the State's actions were "a constitutional terror attack. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
and his ministers are breaking a commitment given to the court and are placing the settlers above the law.
"In the moment of truth, the government is backing land theft and the violation of court orders, only to appease a few thousand settlers who are members of the Likud
Vice Premier Silvan Shalom
visited Ulpana Friday and expressed his hope that an arrangement could be found.
"We can't have a situation where the residents who came here legally find themselves living under the threat of eviction. The State sent them here and it now has to devise a legal way for them to stay.
"This matter," he continued, "Should be treated as a land dispute and there is no reason to opt for an exacerbated solution just because it's the West Bank.
"We see keeping the settlers here as a matter of national necessity. An evacuation is out of the question – it's a ruling we cannot abide," he said.
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