After endless political wrangling, Knesset members will vote on a bill meant to prevent the evacuation of Beit El's Ulpana neighborhood. A similar bill by MK Yaakov Katz (National Union) has been withdrawn but may be but forward again to put pressure on the government.
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Hundreds of teens are trying to block a Jerusalem road in protest of the government's intention to evacuate Ulpana. They are chanting "A Jew does not expel a Jew" and "Muhammad is dead" and carrying signs slamming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet.
Officers at the scene are having trouble preventing the blocking of the road. Several clashes between protesters and angry drivers erupted during the protest.
'Jew does not expel a Jew.' Protesters in Jerusalem (Photo: Eli Mandelbaum)
Later, the teens were joined by participants of the "Ulpana residents march" which left Beit El two days ago and has reached the capital. "We have come to shout that the settlement regulation bill must be passed, that the evacuation is inconceivable," Eran of Beersheba rold Ynet.
Among the protesters were Hagai Ben Artzi, the prime minister's brother-in-law who said that his decision to evacuate the Ulpana neighborhood could not be described as anything but "mean-hearted."
Meanwhile, MKs are set to vote on Zvulun Orlev's settlement regulation bill later on Wednesday following Netanyahu's decision to adhere to a High Court ruling ordering an evacuation of five Ulpana houses built on private Palestinian land.
If passed, the legislation would retroactively legalize the Ulpana neighborhood in the Beit El settlement, as well as other Jewish outposts built on privately owned Palestinian land in the West Bank. Netanyahu has decided to fire any minister or deputy minister who votes in favor of the bill.
Following Netanyahu's announcement, Shas ministers said they will be absent from the Knesset plenum during the vote while ministers belonging to Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beitenu party are expected to oppose the bill. "The faction will accept Netanyahu's plan for the Ulpana neighborhood's eviction," Lieberman said Wednesday.
"Any person in their right mind would endorse a proposal to build new houses in Judea and Samaria, set up a ministerial committee on settlement issues and accept the attorney general's promise that this case will not serve as a precedent for future evacuations."
According to the bill, any land owner in the West Bank who did not challenge construction on the land he claimed to own within four years would lose the legal right to do so.
Moran Azulay contributed to this report
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