The Ulpana neighborhood in Beit El.
The Ulpana neighborhood in Beit El. Photo by Emil Salman
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a panel of ministers decided on Monday night to instruct the State Prosecution to ask the High Court of Justice for another extension for the eviction of the Ulpana neighborhood in Beit El, after a previous attempt to delay the evacuation failed.

The State Prosecution will attempt to set a new schedule for the evacuation of the Beit El buildings, currently slated for May 1, after the court found that they were illegally built on private Palestinian land.

“The Prosecution has already started working on the new request and will submit it to the High Court of Justice early next week,” a senior official said. If the court grants the state an extension, “a panel of experts will be set up to once again look into the legal status of the buildings.”

During Monday night’s meeting, which lasted over four hours, Netanyahu said that the evacuation of the buildings must be averted. Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon called for preventing the evacuation “that is neither fair nor reasonable.” Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that the 30 families that reside in the buildings can be offered alternative apartments in the settlement proper.

Ministers Benny Begin, Dan Meridor, Yuval Steinitz, Israel Katz and Gideon Sa’ar, and Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein took part in the meeting. Representatives of the State Prosecution, the Civil Authority and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the territories also took part.

Earlier on Monday night, Netanyahu, Barak, Ya’alon and Begin took part in an additional meeting to discuss ways to resolve the question around the legal status of the settlements of Bruchin and Rachelim.

Netanyahu has highlighted a number of times this week that the public will not stand for the eviction of the Ulpana neighborhood, saying that the solution at this stage has to be through the Supreme Court, and not through Knesset legislation.

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