Aerial Photograph Reveals Another House in Ulpana Hill Sits on Palestinian Land

Five caravans on private Palestinian land also have to go.

Akiva Eldar
Akiva Eldar
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Akiva Eldar
Akiva Eldar

An aerial photograph of the Ulpana neighborhood in Beit El reveals that aside from the five houses to be relocated, part of a sixth house also sits on the land belonging to a Palestinian, and it too will have to be relocated. The civil administration confirmed that the sixth house has also been issued a demolition warrant, along with five caravans constructed illegally on Dora al-Qara's lands near the Beit El settlement.

The aerial photograph was taken by Dror Etkes, a prominent anti-settlement activist.

In response to Haaretz's questions about the sixth house, a Justice Ministry spokesman said: "The petition to the High Court of Justice and the state's response related to five permanent constructions." Asked why the State

Prosecutor's Office does not begin implementation of demolition orders issued by the civil administration to all the houses in the neighborhood, including the caravans, instead of waiting for High Court of Justice injunctions in petitions by plaintiffs and human rights organizations, the spokesman said: "As we have declared in the past, the attorney general stressed in his letter to the prime minister that illegal construction on private land is a difficult and problematic issue, requiring governmental attention and adequate funding.

Special attention should be given to preventing new construction and removing it as early as possible. Issues such as this are often dealt with by the ministry, which must deal with various questions and procedures as well as issues of enforcement. In some cases, the ministry publicizes its acts. At the moment we cannot go into further details about our specific courses of action."

Michael Sfard, who represented the petitioners and is the legal consultant of the human rights group Yesh Din, told Haaretz: "The Justice Ministry's reaction is similar to the reaction of a physician who claims he only treats problems the patient raises, and isn't interested in other illnesses revealed during his examination of the patient."

In response, Etkes said that it is the job of the state Attorney’s office to see that the government is enforcing the law. “The hubris infected settlers demand the State Attorney to perfectly align with their whims; they don’t realize that sitting in the State Attorney office are their most loyal allays. In a normal country, the State Attorney should make sure that the government upholds the law,” he said.

The Ulpana neighborhood in Beit El.Credit: Emil Salman

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