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Protest tents in Ulpana Photo: Ido Erez
Protest tents in Ulpana Photo: Ido Erez
 
 

Ulpana residents against PM's eviction plan

Government, settlers fear 'another Amona' during evacuation of five homes built on private Palestinian land, 'negotiating around the clock' to strike deal. The conditions: Compensation, written guarantee to build 300 housing units in Beit El

Itamar Fleishman
Published: 06.11.12, 23:57 / Israel News

During negotiations with government officials, residents of the Ulpana neighborhood in Beit El have expressed their opposition to the government's plan to move five homes to a military zone within the West Bank settlement, Ynet has learned.

 

The settlers also presented government officials a number of conditions for their voluntary evacuation.

 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's so-called "saw plan" was harshly criticized by engineers.

 

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Last month the High Court of Justice ruled that the State must evacuate five homes in Ulpana because they were built on private Palestinian land. Last week the Knesset voted down the settlement regulation bill and effectively green lighted the planned evacuation.

 

Rabbi Zalman Melamed is representing the Ulpana settlers in the negotiations with the government.

 


קראווילות בבית אל. "לא התייעצו עם התושבים" (צילום: גיל יוחנן)

'They didn't consult with us.' Caravillas in Beit El (Photo: Gil Yohanan)

 

In exchange for a peaceful, voluntary evacuation, the settlers are demanding that the fives homes remain intact. They do not believe Netanyahu's plan to move the homes is feasible, and during the talks they suggested that the structures be converted into IDF observation points or be sealed.

 

The settlers are also demanding a written guarantee from Netanyahu to build 300 housing units in Beit El.

 

The talks are also focusing on the compensation the evacuated settlers will receive from the government.

 

Sources who are familiar with the negotiations predicted that an agreement will be reached because both sides do not want the evacuation to turn violent. But one of the settlers said, "We are aware of the talks, but in the current situation no one is packing. We have no intention of evacuating voluntarily; we will not give up our homes that easily.

 

"We cannot rule out the possibility that what happened in Amona will repeat itself," he warned. "We won't be able to control those who will enter the neighborhood to resist the evacuation. On the ground we can see preparations that may lead to a violent evacuation."

 

The settler said the government is "preparing a caravilla site for us without consulting with us first. This frustrates us and makes us more determined to fight for our homes."

 

MK Danny Danon (Likud), who is participating in the talks, said "both sides do not want another Amona and are working around the clock to strike a deal."

 

 

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