Final family pulled gently from Ulpana home

Fattal family had refused to peacefully leave outpost; border police remove hilltop youth who broke into home.

June 28, 2012 21:11
3 minute read.
Yiska Fattal led away from Ulpana home

Yiska Fattal led away from Ulpana home 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)


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Yiska Fattal held her face in her hands and cried, as she sat for the last time on her black living room sofa on Thursday night.

“I can’t do this,” she told two border police women who kneeled next to her.

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“Go slow,” suggested a policewoman.

“Slowly and with patience,” said a Border Police commander as he stood next to them.

Night had fallen. From the Fattal family’s third-floor apartment in the Ulpana outpost it was possible to see the twinkling lights of the nearby Palestinian city of Ramallah.

The other 32 families left peacefully, 17 earlier that day and 15 on Tuesday.

But already on Tuesday, Yiska and Yoel Fattal said they could not walk out of their apartment.

They did nothing to pack up their threeroom home, with a front and back porch.

“If you want us to leave you have to take us out of here,” Yiska Fattal told two workers in neon yellow vests who walked into her living room in the late afternoon.

“We have been sent to help you,” said one of the men.

“We do not want to leave,” she replied.

As workers lugged boxes and furniture out of her neighbors’ apartment she watched from the kitchen porch.

Earlier in the day, a Defense Ministry official came to speak with her husband, but was given the same response.

As evening fell, neighbors came to sit with them, along with some reporters and photographers.

People in the room began to whisper that the Border Police were on their way.

As they entered the building, Yiska and Yoel Fattal went to sit on their sofa. A few adults quickly shepherded children out of the apartment.

Male officers entered, followed by female police. They asked the Fattals to leave and showed them a piece of paper with a legal order that they do so.

“We do not want to leave,” Yoel and Yiska said.

“We do not want this to unpleasant,” a police commander said.

“We want it to be unpleasant,” Yiska replied.

Male police officers then tried to lift Yoel, who slid to the floor by the sofa, as Yiska cried.

Four police then held him, gently, and carried him by his arms and legs out of the room.

Two female police officers then walked Yiska out.

Police then cleared the stairwell of reporters, Ulpana residents and hilltop youth who had gathered there.

In the evening, some 15 hilltop youths broke into an empty apartment on the second floor of the same building.

Throughout the day, Ulpana residents thwarted attempts by hilltop youth to physically resist the evacuation.

Ulpana spokesman Harel Cohen called the teens “anarchists.”

At night, after Yiska and Yoel were taken out of their apartment, police were able to quickly clear 15 hilltop youths from the second floor apartment below. Six men and one woman were arrested.

Defense Ministry workers – with the help of Fattal family friends – began packing.

The High Court of Justice ordered the state to evacuate the five structures by July 1 because they were built without permits on land designated by the state as private Palestinian property.

The Defense Ministry plans to physically relocate the structures to an authorized plot of land in Beit El, through a process that will take a year.

In the interim families have moved into modular homes in Beit El especially set up for them by the Defense Ministry.

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