Apartments in Ulpana oupost in danger of being evacuated .
(photo credit: Tovah Lazaroff)
Coalition chairman Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) said that bills to authorize West Bank
outposts were unlikely to be brought to the Knesset plenum as planned on
The bills authors, MK Zevulun Orlev (Habayit Hayehudi) and
Ya’acov Katz (National Union) were intent Tuesday evening on bringing the
legislation as private member bills on Wednesday for a preliminary
But Elkin said that already on Monday, Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu had asked that the legislation be delayed.
The legislation can
only garner enough support to pass, if Netanyahu gives law-makers in his
coalition, including ministers, the freedom to vote their
Right-wing politicians are pushing to bring the bill to the
plenum because they believe it is one of the few avenues left to thwart a High
Court of Justice mandate to demolish by July 1 five apartment buildings in the
Ulpana outpost, located on the outskirts of Beit El.
Similarly, the court
has also ordered the state to evacuate by August 1 the Migron outpost, which is
home to 50 families.
According to the court, both Migron and the Ulpana
buildings were built without permits on private Palestinians
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has said he prefers to find
another solution short of legislation. The scope of the bills goes beyond Ulpana
and Migron, and calls for dozens of unauthorized outposts to be recognized as
legal settlements, a move that the international community believes violates
Israel’s pledge not to create new settlements.
On Monday, Defense
Minister Ehud Barak told Army Radio that he also opposed legislation.
cannot cancel out a High Court of Justice ruling,” he said.
He said that
the only solution was to offer to purchase the land from the Palestinian owners.
It is a move that is considered unlikely, given that the Palestinian Authority
imposes a death sentence on Palestinians who sell land to Jews.
of a land sale, he said, the only other option is to relocate the families to a
22-dunam plot of land in the Beit El settlement.
Barak said he believed
that Beit El, along with the neighboring Ofra settlement, would remain part of
Israel in any final status agreement with the Palestinians.
But he said,
the issue here is not the future of the settlements, but Israel’s standing in
the international community, which is bolstered by the fact that Israel has an
independent judiciary system.
Outpost legislation that cancels out a
court ruling also weakens that independent judiciary system, which is central to
good diplomatic relations with the international community, he said.