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September 19, 2014 / 24 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘demolition’

Migron Outpost Residents Say They Will Stay Put Until Court Hearing

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Residents of Migron said they will not leave the Samarian outpost until the Israeli Supreme Court rules on a request to halt their evacuation.

Earlier this month the residents had asked the court to stop the evacuation as some work to verify claims that they had purchased, or repurchased, the land on which the homes are located.

The eviction is scheduled for Tuesday — the day the court is scheduled to address the case. The residents say they will not leave before the hearing. The Defense Ministry has called on the residents to leave peacefully beginning in the morning.

Approximately 50 families live on the outpost, which is 14 miles north of Jerusalem. Some 17 families are contesting the evacuation, saying they own the land on which their homes are built.

Temporary homes for the Migron families have been established in the nearby community of Psagot, but the Migron residents will only be able to move into the homes if they leave their outpost voluntarily, according to reports.

In March, the Supreme Court ruled against an attempt by the government to postpone to 2015 the demolition of Migron, which some Palestinians say is built on their land. Deferrals against the demolition stretch back to 2006.

The settlers, who deny that Migron is built on private Palestinian land, had signed a deal with the Netanyahu government agreeing to relocate to a nearby hill.

Beit El Bitter Pill Sweetened by Bibi’s Promise of New Construction

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Though leaders in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria decried the failure of Wednesday’s Knesset vote to overturn the destruction of five apartment buildings in Beit El, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved a major new construction plan to erect 300 new homes in the town, with 551 additional homes approved in four other locations.

The bill was voted down 69:22, sealing the fate of 30 residences in the Ulpana neighborhood in the pastoral and mountainous Benjamin Region.  Following the rejection of the bill, protesters and police clashed outside the Knesset and at the entrance to Jerusalem.

Baruch Gordon, Director of Development for Beit El Institutions, expressed his outrage at the outcome of the Knesset vote.  “A great injustice is being perpetrated here against the Jews of Beit El’s Ulpana Hill, many of whom are indigenous residents of Israel for generations,” he told the Jewish Press.   “The ownership of the disputed land has not been determined by any court. The Supreme court openly admits this, and says it is relying on the Netanyahu government policy decision to demolish the houses. The absurdity is that there is a simultaneous case in the Jerusalem District Court to determine who is the rightful owner.”

“The Supreme Court openly wrote in its decision that it has no patience to wait for the outcome of this legitimate district court case which may take years. It wants the buildings demolished now,” Gordon said.   “This court decision is pure prejudice against the religious-Zionist public in Judea and Samaria. The court would have never issued such a ruling against Israelis elsewhere in Israel or against Arabs.”

Though indignation toward the Prime Minister’s failure to intervene on behalf of Ulpana Hill runs high,  Prime Minister Netanyahu approved 851 new homes on Wednesday evening – 300 for Beit El, and 551 to be divided among Karnei Shomron, Efrat, and other locations in Gush Etzion.

In a statement made Wednesday night, after the defeat of the bill, Prime Minister Netanyahu  said he is “committed to upholding the law and I am committed to uphold the settlement enterprise, and I tell you that there is no contradiction between the two.”  He further stated that he believes the bill would have ultimately harmed settlement in Judea and Samaria, whereas his plan to expand the communities in areas not under dispute in the courts would strengthen the settlement enterprise.

“We are not strangers in Beit El. We are not strangers in Judea and Samaria. This is the Land of our Patriarchs. This is where our identity was formed,” Prime Minister Netanyahu said.  “I say this here in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, and I say this everywhere in the world.”

Nonetheless, Prime Minister Netanyahu noted that the day on which the final attempt to stop the destruction failed “has been a complicated and difficult day.”

“Moving homes from their location, even if it is only five homes, is certainly not an action that this Government rejoices in doing,” he said.

Prime Minister Netanyahu also reiterated his commitment to establishing a ministerial committee on settlement in order to “ensure that the Government’s policy of strengthening settlement is implemented.”

He concluded by stating that “there is no government that supports, or will support, settlement more than my government,” noting that his government has withstood serious pressures in a “very complex diplomatic, national and legal environment”.

The Palestinian Authority condemned the measure to erect new homes, saying it sabotages negotiations.

Washington also disapproved, with a State Department representative reiterating the US position, “we do not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement activity.”

Military and civilian officials and experts are deliberating where to erect the new buildings in Beit El.  One option would place the buildings inside a military zone in the town.

Talking to a (Man on a) Horse

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

   יְהִי-דָן נָחָשׁ עֲלֵי-דֶרֶךְ שְׁפִיפֹן עֲלֵי אֹרַח הַנּשֵׁךְ עִקְּבֵי-סוּס וַיִּפֹּל רֹכְבוֹ אָחוֹר

Dan will be a serpent by the roadside, a viper along the path, that bites the horse’s heels so that its rider tumbles backward. (Gen. 49:17)

Right wing activist Itamar ben Gvir was arrested by police on Wednesday during a demonstration outside the Knesset, as protesters reacted  to the rejection of a bill that would have saved their homes from needless demolition.

It appeared, as the verse in Genesis suggests, that when dealing with the folks on horseback, the well thought out, logical argument rarely wins the day.

Security Forces Victorious Over Teen Girls in Overnight Demolitions at Two Outposts

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

In what could be a dress rehearsal for the evacuation and demolition of Ulpana Hill, Israeli security forces accompanied a bulldozer which overnight demolished a stone structure in the Ramat Migron outpost and two temporary structures in the Oz Zion outpost in the Benjamin region of Judea and Samaria. Clashes erupted during the demolition, between right-wing activists, most of them teenage girls, and security forces. The Tatzpit news agency reports that six activists were arrested, five of them girls.

Police, Border Guard and Civil Administration troops arrived at a little before midnight last night at the Ramat Migron Outpost in Benjamin region, with a bulldozer.

Dozens of right-wing activists flocked to the scene to protest the planned destruction. The outpost was celebrating a wedding that night, of a young man and woman who are both local residents.

Protected by the troops, the bulldozer, which was using the path that had been cleared in preparation for the wedding, proceeded to level a stone structure, which was home to the boys living in the outpost.

After the successful destruction of the building in Ramat Migron, the forces left the area and moved toward the Oz Zion outpost, where they were met by and clashed with several right-wing activists, all of them teens. Despite the teens’ resistance, the security forces demolished two temporary structures.

According to the Tatzpit report, six teens were arrested during the clashes, including five girls.

Police kept their faces hidden and removed their ID badges while doing battle with Jewish teenage girls.

The agency reports that government forces were brutal in their treatment of the protesting teenagers, using unrestrained violence. Some of the girls are reported to have been injured. The Oz Etzion outpost is considered a closed military zone and reporters were not allowed in to cover the clashes. Photographers were attacked by police with blinding projectors that prevented covering the violence.

As has been their habit in such confrontations, the Border Guard policemen did not wear their name tags on their uniforms—a violation of police regulations—and only agreed to reveal them after being pressed to do so by reporters.

Some police covered their faces with bandanas throughout the operation.

A local resident told the Tatzpit agency: “It appears that police intelligence discovered our plan to build a new home in Israel, and decided to try to destroy our celebration. In the past we’ve observed this pattern of the police, to commit their destruction just when we celebrate a joyful wedding or an engagement of local residents. But we will not be deterred.”

Is Netanyahu Ready to Demolish Ulpana Hill? The Settlers Don’t Think So

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Makor Rishon reported Tuesday morning that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not see a way to prevent the court-ordered demolition of the Ulpana Hill neighborhood of Beit El in the Benjamin region of Judea and Samaria.

Responding to a question from senior Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Regional Development and the development of the Negev and the Galilie Silvan Shalom, and other MKs, in a meeting of the Likud faction in the Knesset, Netanyahu said that “the jurists can’t find a solution” and that “the problem is that the land owner doesn’t want to sell.”

The Prime Minister referred to a dispute regarding the legality of the sale of the land on which Ulpana Hill was built nearly two decades ago, a dispute which Israel’s Supreme Court, based on the findings submitted by Deputy Attorney General Mike Blass, is seeking to remedy through the demolition of the densely populated apartment buildings and returning the land to an Arab who claims he is its rightful owner.

Jewish Home faction’s MK Zevulun Orlev and National Union faction Chairman Yaakov Katz (Ketzaleh) have both submitted “regulation legislation” which, in general terms, seeks to remedy the same dispute by awarding the claimant the value of his land or comparable land of equal value, should he be able to substantiate his claim in district court (where, perhaps paradoxically, the rules of evidence are stricter than in the Supreme Court).

But Likud Faction Chairman Zeev Elkin, according to the report in Makor Rishon, said that in his estimate neither of the proposed bills would pass in the House. This despite the fact that a clear majority of the Likud faction, and, supposedly, Netanyahu himself, don’t wish to see the demolition of the neighborhood.

Spokesman for the Ulpana Hill Neighborhood and assistant to MK Katz Harel Cohen told the Jewish Press the Makor Rishon headline did not responsibly represent the actual content of the piece.

The real story is that the AG staff are telling Netanyahu that there is no solution other than demolishing the neighborhood, says Cohen. “But in the story [faction chairman Ze'ev] Elkin is saying that if Netanyahu won’t release the ministers to vote as they see fit there won’t be a majority” for the new regulation bills.

“In other words,” Cohen emphasized, “There is a majority support for the bills, all it takes is for Bibi to release the ministers.”

Coalition government ministers, as well as MKs whose factions are part of the coalition government, are called on occasion to vote a strict party line as indicated by the Prime Minister, rather than based on their own choices. Failure to obey a directive on a key vote may lead to the expulsion of a faction from the government.

When asked by the Jewish Press why the Ulpana Hill have been hesitating to speak critically of Netanyahu, Cohen answered, “We don’t criticize the good efforts which are being made. Netanyahu is seeking a solution – that’s a fact. There are various suggestions out there – that’s a fact. He wants to resolve this in a positive way – that’s a fact. He said [the demolition order] is a decree the public cannot sustain, meaning he would lose the public if it does happen – that’s a fact.”

Cohen said he is strongly critical of Netanyahu, “who has an almost innate talent of getting himself stuck further and further in needless problems. Like a child who gets entangled in his mother’s yarn and instead of cutting loose just keeps on turning and getting roped in more yarn.”

Cohen says Netanyahu’s biggest mistake is to continue to rely on those same jurists who have misled him in the first place, and even misrepresented his own government policy before the Supreme Court. “What is he expecting, that the same people who stuck him in it would find a solution for the mess?”

According to Cohen, the solutions exist, and they will be employed eventually. He just wishes that the solutions are taken up sooner rather than later, to prevent even more anxiety and fear among the residents of the threatened neighborhood.

Makor Rishon also reported on a heated confrontation several weeks ago, between Deputy Prime Minister Moshe (Bogie) Yaalon and Deputy GA Blass, who was responsible for the report to the High Court on the legality of the Ulpana purchase.

In a discussion team assembled by Netanyahu to discuss Ulpana’s future, Yaalon attacked Blass, telling Blass he had misled him, Yaalon, when he announced the intent to demolish the neighborhood.

“You are conducting a contrarian policy, and we need to replace you,” Yaalon charged. “You have a vested interest in helping the Arabs and destroying Jewish interests. Every solution you’re being offered to help Jews is no good.”

Blass responded with his own outburst, saying, “There’s a limit to how much I can absorb.” Blass also argued that Yaalon himself had “signed off on the orders to demolish the neighborhood, and even added his comments on them, you have no basis to come complaining now.”

Netanyahu’s Cabinet to Legalize Ulpana Hill Neighborhood

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Israel’s Cabinet will meet in a special session to discuss legalizing the Ulpana Hill Neighborhood in Judea and Samaria, in response to a Supreme Court ruling calling for its demolition.

The meeting will be held Friday, a day after National Union faction leader Ya’akov Katz (Ketzaleh) and Zevulun Orlev of the Jewish Home faction each said that he would introduce a bill next week to retroactively authorize the constructon.

The two factions’ proposed bills were announced after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu informed Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin that Netanyahu was removing his opposition to a new regulation law. MK Katz (shadow ‘e) that it would introduce his bill on Monday.

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court rejected the Israeli government’s request to delay the razing of the Neighborhood of the town of Bet El. In reinforcing its ruling of last September, the panel of judges ordered that the neighborhood of several apartment buildings be razed by July 1, having found that the buildings have been built on private land owned by Palestinians.

Material from a JTA story was used in this report.

On Day of Hebron House Evacuation, Netanyahu Says He Wants to Legalize Some Judea and Samaria Outposts

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he will submit a plan to legalize several Judea and Samaria outposts and avoid the demolition of another.

At Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said he asked Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein to “find a solution” for the Ulpana neighborhood in Beit El “that would obviate the need for demolition.” The government had previously agreed to evacuate the illegal outpost by May.

Netanyahu also told the ministers that he will submit, with the recommendation of Defense Minister Ehud Barak, a plan to legalize the outposts of Bruchin, Sansana and Rechalim, which are said to be built on private Palestinian land.

The announcement came as Jewish settlers who last week occupied a house in Hebron near the Cave of the Patriarch were evacuated by Israeli security forces.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/on-day-of-hebron-house-evacuation-netanyahu-says-he-wants-to-legalize-some-judea-and-samaria-outposts/2012/04/04/

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