Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu has reportedly decided to remove five buildings from the Uplana neighborhood in Beit El. He intends to completely uproot the buildings and resituate them on nearby land owned by the military. As a form of compensation, he plans to build tens of new homes in Beit El, ten for each one removed.
Several people have decided to go on a hunger-strike to protest the decision and demand that Ministers vote for the “Regulation Law”, which will set a statute of limitation for claims against existing communities in Judea and Samaria that are allegedly constructed on privately owned land. According to the suggested law, should the claims be proven in court, the buildings would remain in place, and the claimant would receive monetary compensation or land of equal value. The strikers are rejecting Netanyahu’s seemingly generous offer.
Dvir Raz, 31, a father of 3, has been on a hunger strike for five consecutive days, since Wednesday morning. He intends to continue his strike at least until this coming Wednesday, when the vote for the “Regulation Law” will take place. He lives in Amona, a community with similar legal issues. He explained that he is striking with a demand that the Prime Minister find a proper legislative solution to all the lands in legal dispute and which may encounter similar difficulties to those which have arisen at the Ulpana neighborhood.
“The Prime Minister is currently offering a specific solution to this current crisis. We demand that he offer an all encompassing solution to all lands which may be in dispute. We demand that the Prime Minister offer a comprehensive resolution in order to stop the flood of court claims against Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. The organizations submitting these court petitions are doing so not out of care for the alleged Palestinian owners who have never lived on these lands, but because they are bent on the destruction of as many Jewish settlements as possible. The Ministry of Defense has already announced that they will not enable the alleged owners of the Beit El land to live on it because it is within the limits of Beit El. What we have here is an absurd situation in which everyone loses. This is destruction for the sake of destruction”, Raz stated.
Four more strikers joined the protesters this morning, including a ninety year old man, Avraham Nocham, of Anatot. Nocham, an artist, explained that he has decided to join the strike out of empathy and identification with the strikers’ objectives. “I am very sensitive to these issues,” he told Tazpit News Agency. “Many times the development of these incidents is frightening. I have come to join the struggle and strike in hope of a positive outcome.”
About the Author: Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.
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