State to Ask Court to Delay Ulpana Demolition

April 23, 2012  

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu conducted a special meeting with his senior ministers on Monday evening. The purpose of the meeting was to find a legal solution that would prevent the destruction of the Ulpana neighborhood in Beit El.

Five homes in the neighborhood are scheduled to be demolished on May 1, following an order by the Supreme Court. The issue of the homes in Beit El, one of the largest Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, is whether the five homes were built on private Arab land.

At the end of the discussion it was decided that the State Attorney’s Office will approach the Supreme Court and ask for the demolition to be delayed. At the same time, according to the decision, a committee will be established to examine the legal status of the houses and their future.

In addition to Netanyahu, the meeting was attended by Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon and ministers Benny Begin, Dan Meridor, Yuval Steinitz, Yisrael Katz and Gideon Saar.

Also taking part in the discussion were Attorney General Attorney Yehuda Weinstein and representatives of the State Attorney’s Office, Civil Administration and the Coordinator of Government Activities in Judea and Samaria.

The decision came following earlier reports that Barak instructed his office to find a solution to legalize the Ulpana neighborhood.

Barak has been feeling the pressure from cabinet ministers who are favoring legislation to legalize the homes before the scheduled expulsion. On Sunday, he said that the problem could be solved if the land were to be bought.

Ministers have informed Netanyahu that if the neighborhood is destroyed, his coalition will follow.

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