Police held a large exercise at an IDF base in the Arava region of southern
Israel on Monday, to simulate the evacuation of five apartment buildings in
Uplana outpost on the outskirts of the Beit El settlement.
The homes are
slated for demolition by the end of the month, in line with a High Court of
Justice ruling, which said that the structures were built on private Palestinian
Law enforcement sources told The Jerusalem Post that officers were
waiting for an order from the IDF to move forward and evacuate the homes, but
that an agreement with the settlers was still possible, which would prevent the
need for a forced evacuation.
Many police officers, including from the
Special Patrol Unit and the Border Police, took part in the drill.
the evacuation, police will form the inner circles around the homes, leading
residents out if necessary, while preventing activists from reaching the site to
resist the demolition.
Police are keen to complete the evacuation as
quickly and with as little conflict as possible, and practiced ways to achieve
those goals on Monday.
Separately, Rabbi Dov Lior, a leading figure in
the nationalreligious camp, along with several other rabbis, called for prayer
and action to “nullify the decree” against Ulpana as well as against other
endangered outposts, such as Migron, which the High Court of Justice has ordered
the state to evacuate by August 1. The state has also promised to take down the
Givat Assaf outpost and Amona. All four outposts are located in the Binyamin
region of the West Bank.
In their public appeal, the rabbis called on
youth in particular “to be present whenever possible across the Binyamin region
in order to express solidarity with the residents of the settlements so that
they not be uprooted from their inheritance.”
The rabbis also called on
the public to pray to God and exert influence over ministers and public
officials so that they do as much as possible to prevent the
Beit El and Ulpana residents, as well as the settler
leadership, have called on all those who support Jewish settlement of Judea and
Samaria to flock to the area to prevent the demolitions with their
Although settlers leaders have urged passive resistance to the
pending demolitions, sporadic violence has already broken out.
vandals punctured the tires of a vehicle that belonged to Ze’ev Hever “Zambish,”
who heads Amana, the construction arm of the settlement movement, as it was
parked in Beit El.
They also threw paint on a vehicle that belonged to
Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan, who is among a number of
officials tasked with holding informal talks with Beit El and Ulpana residents
on behalf of the government.
Ulpana residents said that the vandals were
not from Beit El.
Erdan had come to meet with the Beit El leaders,
including Rabbi Eliezer Melamed.
Maj.-Gen. Eitan Dangot, the coordinator
of government activities in the territories, and cabinet secretary Tzvi Hauser
were also at the meeting.
The government is seeking to persuade Ulpana
residents to voluntarily leave their homes.