Netanyahu Seeks to Uproot, Transfer Homes From West Bank Outpost

As part of solution, ten homes would be built in Beit El settlement for every home moved from Ulpana outpost.

Sources close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu say that Netanyahu is examining a dual solution to the Ulpana outpost issue that will avoid the need for legislation on the matter.

Israel's High Court has ruled that the neighborhood, which is in the Beit El settlement, be demolished by July 1.

The first phase of the solution being considered would be the uprooting of the five Ulpana homes in question and moving them several hundred meters to land that is not privately owned by Palestinians.

Additionally, ten new homes would be constructed in Beit El for every uprooted building, subject to approval by the attorney general.

Netanyahu said this weekend that he would prefer to avoid legislation on the matter, as legislation would weaken the settlement movement, rather than strengthen it.

Sources close to Netanyahu emphasized that engineering tests have shown that it would be possible to uproot and transfer the five homes.  Yet professionals within the defense establishment who are dealing with the Ulpana issue say that such an engineering project would either not be feasible or would cost a huge amount of money, and doubt it could be carried out in the short time before July 1.

According to the sources close to Netanyahu, the proposed solution has not yet been approved by the attorney general and an understanding has not yet been reached with Ulpana residents. Therefore the solution is still being examined and a final decision has not been made. If the solution is not approved by the attorney general, legislation will be considered as a means for solving the issue.

The plan has aroused opposition from both the right and left of the political spectrum. MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union) said: "Netanyahu moves Migron and moves the Ulpana neighborhood. All that remains for Netanyahu to bring world peace is to move Jerusalem to New York."

Meretz chairwoman MK Zahava Gal-On said: "Netanyahu's promise for more construction in Beit El is a death blow to the political process that will lead to the establishment of one state."

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