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November 20, 2014 / 27 Heshvan, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘evacuation’

Some Residents Have Barricaded Themselves, But Migron Evacuation Is Proceeding as Planned

Sunday, September 2nd, 2012

After the Supreme Court finally ordered to evacuate the residents of the Judea and Samaria village of Migron from their homes by September 4, some families have begun on Saturday night to leave their homes voluntarily, Maariv reports.

On Sunday morning, security forces have entered the scene and began to issue evacuation orders, against strong opposition from some residents, whose number was bolstered by a few right-wing supporters.

For the first time since the court’s decision, dozens of police officers and IDF soldiers have moved into the community. The soldiers arrived before dawn and blocked the village entrance. Some residents have barricaded themselves in their homes and refuse to leave.

Police began to move among the trailer homes, knocking on doors and handing out eviction notices. Rabbi Nachum Rabinovitch, dean of Maale Adumim yeshiva, was waiting for the cops with his grandson, who lives with his family in one of the trailers.

Rabinowitz began yelling at the officers: “This is an illegal order, you are committing an immoral crime, stop and think, stop this injustice.”

During the night, about 30 masked, young, right-wing activists reached the entrance to the outpost and set up barricades of rocks and tires. where they waited for the arrival of the security forces.

The community leaders reacted vehemently to the evacuation order, condemning Netanyahu and the Likud party: “This week Netanyahu, Begin and Yaalon agents of destruction will come up this week to demolish Migron,” they said.

“The residents of Migron are feeling hurt and betrayed, and protest the needless and miserable destruction that will take place here. The Residents of Migron never collaborated nor will ever collaborate with the destruction of their village. We call on every sane and honest person to come out of his house to protest, rage and cry out with us against the terrible injustice and miserable destruction the Likud government is perpetrating these days,” they added.

“We’ll say to all our adversaries: we will not consent and will not capitulate. Today everyone knows: The Migron story will result in at least two communities,” they stressed.

Some residents have left their homes in their private cars to a hostel in nearby Ofra, rather than to the alternative site built for them at Givat HaYekev. But many are yet to pack up their belongings.

The High Court stressed in its decision that even if the land had been purchased legally, that fact in itself is not enough to prevent evacuation and demolition, since the use of the land-—legally owned or not—has not been in accordance with the government plans for the area.

Since the village is not within the jurisdiction of any local municipality, the decision on its planning, from settlement to any future land use, had to come from the government—which never bothered to decide on the matter.

In essence, the justices enforced the evacuation because the Netanyahu government—and all the governments the preceded it.

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.

Migron Settlers’ Last Stand at High Court on Tuesday

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

On Tuesday morning, the Israeli Supreme Court headed by Justice Asher Grunis is expected to examine the claims of the Migron residents. Over the past few months, several residents purchased plots of land in the surrounding area; if the purchase claims of these residents are found to be in proper order, 17 out of the 50 families will be permitted to remain in the area, at best. The evacuation of the other families is expected to take place immediately after the Supreme Court hearing on Tuesday.

Last week, Defense Ministry representatives approached Migron residents and urged them to voluntarily evacuate the outpost before the court hearing, in exchange for packing and moving service. General Eitan Dangot, Coordinator of Government Activities in Judea and Samaria, stated that if the residents did not evacuate peacefully, a forced evacuation would take place on Tuesday. Residents were also told that they may lose the temporary residential site built for them about two kilometers from Migron if they refuse to evacuate.

Migron residents have said that they would refuse to evacuate willingly and would employ violence against IDF soldiers. Security sources suspect that extreme right-wing activists will descend upon the outpost to oppose the evacuating forces. Right-wing sources have already appealed to the soldiers, encouraging them to refuse to participate in the evacuation, and say that they are getting ready for the hour of the evacuation order.

Shuki Seth, a Migron resident, said that the pressure would not scare residents and that they are not planning to evacuate before the Supreme Court ruling. “I figure that the next stage will be that they start to give us orders, then they will threaten to cut off our water and electricity,” he said. “But we are not scared of manipulation. They did it in Gush Katif And they’ll do it here.”

Right-wing factions have also begun an aggressive campaign against Binyamin Netanyahu this week, pointing the finger of blame directly at the Prime Minister. According to these groups, he could have prevented the evacuation of Migron but refused to do so because of political considerations. The campaign, organized by Komemiyut – the committee of residents in the Shomron and Binyamin, has already publicized a variety of notices in weekend newspapers criticizing Netanyahu, with captions like “Migron’s Evacuation = Bibi” and “Netanyahu Destroys Migron Settlement”, etc.

Yesterday, Kommemiyut’s chairman, Mousa Cohen explained why Netanyahu is at the forefront of this new campaign: “Now he is showing his true colors,” Cohen said. “Netanyahu promised that he would strengthen the settlements, that he would command the Attorney General and not vice versa, and that he would make decisions in a forum of ministers. However, in practice, Bibi is destroying Migron and expelling the families, even though things could have obviously been done differently. The Prime Minister can no longer hide behind anyone’s apron. Someone who wants to play a hero’s role facing Ahmadinejad cannot be a coward when facing Yehuda Weinstein.”

Yariv Oppenheimer, Director General of Peace Now, called upon the residents to evacuate quietly: “What is expected from every Israeli citizen is also expected from the Migron residents. They should thank the Israeli government for building them two new settlements and agree to leave peacefully,” he said.

As of now, it remains unclear whether the outpost will be evacuated in the coming days. A source from the outpost predicted last night that the residents would not give in to pressure and would not evacuate before the Supreme Court ruling. Security forces are also anticipating that they will have to implement a forced evacuation.

New Bill Envisions Large Scale Settlement Uprooting, Attempts to Protect Victims

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

Pinui Pitzui (compensation for evacuation) was an idea proposed by the far-left party Meretz as incentive to the Jews of Gush Katif: anyone who leaves his home before the deadline date, would be compensated amply. The assumption behind this suggestion was that most settlers chose life in the disputed territories because of cheap housing and government subsidies. In the end very few settlers took the bait.

A bill proposed on Tuesday by National Union chairman Yaacov Katz (Ketzaleh) will require the government to build new homes and infrastructure for residents of outposts and settlements before they are demolished. For a party so strongly identified with the ideals of settling everywhere in Eretz Israel but especially in the “disputed territories,” the bill sounded an awful lot like Pinui Pitzui.

Co-sponsored by five Haredi MKs – and so far not by Katz’s own faction members – the bill, titled “Preservation of the Rights of Evacuees 5772-2012,” is intended to “maintain the basic human rights and the fabric of life of a group of citizens slated to be evacuated.”

The bill states that an evacuation of a large group (20 or more housing units) can only be done after a new location has been determined in which the evacuees can continue their lives in the manner to which they had grown accustomed. This means that the new location must have an infrastructure in place, as well as comparable education and religious service to those they leave behind. The new location must also offer employment for everyone that is comparable in terms of character, pay, and commuting time. Otherwise the evacuees are entitled to unemployment compensation for 24 months.

This is the famous “key for key” exchange which Gush Katif settlers were demanding at the time, meaning – instead of giving us money, give us the key to a new home and a new life that our comparable to what we are asked to give up – and then we’ll give you the key to our home.

In addition, the Finance Ministry must have in place the entire amount slated for reparations to the evacuees, above and beyond the arrangements for resettling.

“If, after we’ve objected and fought and demonstrated, and, God forbid, lost, and the state of Israel has decided to kick Jews out of their home,” Katz’s spokesman Harel Cohen, told the Jewish Press, “and, by the way, not only Jews, anyone, it cannot do it before it built them a home elsewhere, to start their lives anew.”

Cohen said the bill intends to prevent a repeat of the terrible injustice that Sharon has done to the Gush Katif evacuees, about which he says there’s a wall-to-wall consensus – as  seven years after their uprooting, most of the evacuees still do not live in permanent homes.

I told him that to an outside observer the bill looked like the foundation for a wholesale transfer of Jews from Judea and Samaria. Cohen denied this in no uncertain terms, saying the idea is to force the government to build a new Gish Katif before it takes down an old one.

It certainly appears that the right and the settlers are maturing and getting used to being associated with the ruling majority, and learning to play politics. It also explains why five members of Shas and one from United Torah Judaism are co-sponsoring the bill, as they could probably teach their national religious brethren a thing or two about exacting a price for their cooperation with government.

Cohen told me that the dean of Beit El Yeshiva and Katz’s mentor Rabbi Zalman Melamed was pushing this legislation as far back as a year ago, and at the time even Katz had difficulty with the concept – much as his three faction colleagues still do, apparently, today.

“It sounded to him like a conditional agreement” for evacuation, Cohen explained. But a year later, having agonized over the arduous process of losing the Ulpana Hill neighborhood at the High Court without even getting their opportunity to argue back, Ketzalaeh and everyone else in Beit El can certainly envision the worst happening again.

Tragic Ulpana Hill Evacuation Conducted in Orderly Fashion

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

The morning of the evacuation of Ulpana Hill opened with a mass Shachrit prayer of local residents, led by Rabbi Zalman Melamed, facing the settlement of Beit El.

Some residents wearing black shirts that read “Ulpana Hill, we shall return,” held an impromptu press conference. “This is a black day for Israel,” one resident said.

Didi Dickstein told Maariv: “This is our home. It’s hard to leave home.” He announced that he would passively resist the move. “It’s a very difficult day for neighborhood residents,” he added in a pained voice. “This is a happy neighborhood, alive and full of life, which is going to be destroyed.”

Dickstein emphasized that he and his neighbors have decided to leave without violence, according to Rabbi Melamed’s instructions, but he noted that “they made us leave, we do not leave willingly, I personally do not feel I can be a partner in the evacuation. Let them come and get me.”

Meanwhile, preparations for the neighborhood evacuation are already underway. Eight trucks were hired by the Ministry of Defense to move 16 families from their homes, half of them Tuesday morning and the rest in the afternoon.

Contractors hired by the Defense Ministry have arrived and are now helping residents to pack up equipment for transfer later.

Residents who lived in the five buildings slated to be demolished, are on schedule to be moved to the site of trailer “villas” known as Caravillas which was established for them in an empty military base.

By government order, to the extent possible, the evacuation will be conducted without the presence of children.

Deputy Speaker Danon: We’ll Stop Barak’s Creeping Erosion of Judea and Samaria

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Likud MK and Knesset Deputy Speaker  Danny Danon said that if Defense Minister Ehud Barak is not stopped now, there are nine thousand housing units in Judea and Samaria which are being challenged like Ulpana Hill and the Jewish purchased residences in Hebron.

“We must stop this erosion and say, enough, we won’t let Barak carry out a creeping erosion of the settlements of Judea and Samaria,” Danon told JewishPress.com Sunday night, at the end of a crowded assembly outside the homes of Ulpana Hill in Bet El, under the banner “The Likud Is With the Settlement Movement” (Ha’Likud im ha’hityashvut).

MK Danon was one of a dozen or so Likud MKs and other dignitaries who arrived Sunday evening to show their support for continued and even expanded Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria.

Danon promised before Passover to pass legislation to correct the Migron issue, whereby the Israeli High Court had annulled a deal signed between the government and the settlers to prevent a forcible evacuation, and instead provide them with alternative housing on a nearby hill.

“Last week the Knesset convened during its recess, to discuss these very issues,” Danon told JewishPress.com. “Migron was the beginning. It continued with Machpelah House, and now Bet El.”

“There are a few legislative options,” Danon continued. “I have endorsed the Settlement Regulation Act. It’s a good, appropriate, Zionist option. There are other ideas as well.”

The Settlement Regulation legislation determines that after some time has passed and a previously unknown Palestinian claimant comes up with documentation of ownership of an existing settlement, the alleging owner will receive monetary compensation or alternative land, if they can prove their ownership.

Some speakers at the Likud solidarity meeting outside the Ulpana Hill homes have suggested that today all a Palestinian person has to do is go to the Palestinian Authority and receive a piece of paper saying a certain plot of land belongs to him. We asked Danon how the court would go about verifying such claims, which are becoming rampant with the encouragement of leftist, pro-Palestinian Israeli organizations, many of which are directly or indirectly funded by the European Union.

“The mother of all evils is the fact that we have not enforced Israel’s authority over Judea and Samaria,” said Danon. “Today the process is that they don’t go to a court, but instead they begin with filing an appeal with the Supreme Court. And there the entire process of proving ownership is more problematic (as the high court may accept evidence which would never be acceptable to a civil court — YY). If the same claim were filed with a normal court, this would not have been the outcome.”

Machpelah House Tenants Decided to Move in After Arab Sellers and their Families Were Arrested by PA

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

At a press conference outside Machpelah House which had been evacuated Wednesday in Hebron, Shlomo Levinger and attorney Doron Nir-Tzvi told reporters that the purchase of Machpelah House had been in the making for some three years. The tenants had planned to patiently await government approval for their purchase of the house from a local Arab.

But the arrest of several Arabs by the Palestinian Authority on suspicion of selling real estate to the Jewish group – a crime which could be punished with death – changed the plan, and the group decided to move in despite the murky prospects of staying.

Knowing full well how hard it would be to establish residency in a newly purchased house—facing a hostile Israeli civil authority whose directive is to strictly limit the growth of the city’s Jewish community, the group of buyers was moving slowly and quietly, through intermediaries and straw men, forever remaining below the radar for three years.

At the press conference, Levinger said they paid four times the value of the house, which has been estimated at around $250 thousand. Earlier in the day, when the Jewish Press asked Levinger to confirm a rumor that they paid half a million dollars for the house, he said, “I wish it would have been that amount.”

The money for the purchase came from donations of Jews from Israel and abroad. “Every week we would travel to meetings in private homes, collecting one shekel after another,” Levinger said. “There were times when we came back with only a few single shekels, other times we’d pick up thousands. We spent days and nights collecting this money, faithfully and lovingly.

“Once the money had been collected, we embarked on the purchase deal. It was a Sysiphian labor. We knew that the Attorney General’s office would be looking everywhere for possible holes in the deal.”

According to Doron Nir-Tzvi, in Judea and Samaria, real estate deals are conducted in an anachronistic fashion, whereby a deal must first be completed before the buyers are permitted to apply for government approval (Heter Iskah). Therefore, once every last T was crossed and I dotted, the buyers planned to wait patiently for their deal to go through.

Sources in the Civil Administration were telling them they couldn’t find faults with the deal, that despite themselves they would end up having to approve it.

But then the PA arrested both straw men who had been carrying out different part of the bargain, followed by the jailing of their family members as well.

At this point, Levinger et al felt that their only recourse was to take possession of the property, or risk losing the deal altogether.

Both Levinger and Nir-Tzvi expressed concern for the jailed Palestinians. Levinger told the Jewish Press earlier that he was urging the Israeli government to demand their release of the Palestinian Authority.

If Defense Minister Barak refuses to sign off on the deal, the buyers are planning to appeal to other government authorities. But Attorney Nir-Tzvi said he would not recommend that his clients approach Israel’s Supreme Court with their plight, as it would likely be an imprudent use of their financial resources, considering the probable response of the court.

I reminded Shlomo Levinger that the cause cited by Defense Minister Ehud barak for the evacuation Jewish tenants from Machpelah House was not any fault he cited in the deal itself, but the fact that as things stand in Judea and Samaria, the Defense Minister is permitted to use his power arbitrarily to maintain public order. In other words, even if the real estate deal is, indeed, pure as the driven snow, and all the sides, buyers and sellers alike, have been willing participants with not a hint of coercion – Barak would still be within his rights to evict them.

“You must have heard the saying, “Pornography, a matter of Geography,” Shlomo Levinger cited Sakini from “The Tea House of the August Moon” in the middle of hot and dusty Hebron.

“Danger to the public order is in the eye of the beholder,” he continued. “The chiefs of police here have told me, Shlomo, we passed the request along to the higher echelons, everything in our opinion has been quiet after you moved in; the Arabs were cognizant of the deal, they expected it to take effect, they took no issue with it.”

The group of evacuated tenants is determined to stay in their protest tent (“protest parasol” is how our man on the scene Stephen Leavitt called it) until Ehud Barak is ready to sign off on their right to the house – as had been originally promised by Netanyahu’s cabinet. For now, they will be celebrating the seder under that scant tent, and Levinger is asking folks not to come in droves before the Sunday of Chol HaMoed. “We don’t have enough room for everybody at the seder table,” he apologized.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/machpelah-house-tenants-decided-to-move-in-after-arab-sellers-and-their-families-were-arrested-by-pa/2012/04/05/

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