IDF predicts serious resistance to Ulpana evacuation

Authorities finalize plans for evacuation of outpost near Beit El, which court ordered demolished by July 1.

Nahal drill 370 (photo credit: Courtesy IDF Spokesman’s Office)
Nahal drill 370
(photo credit: Courtesy IDF Spokesman’s Office)
The IDF is finalizing plans for the evacuation of the Ulpana outpost near the settlement of Beit El, for which the High Court of Justice has set a deadline of July 1.
The army is anticipating significant resistance and for that reason does not currently plan to announce the date or time of the operation. Assessments are that it will take place during daylight hours owing to the difficulties involved in removing 30 families and then demolishing five multi-story buildings. Also, the IDF does not plan on beginning the evacuation before the Defense Ministry completes the construction of temporary homes for the evacuees at a nearby military base.
Planning for the evacuation has been underway for several weeks, being led by OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Nitzan Alon and commander of the Border Police in the West Bank, Brig.-Gen. Uzi Levy. Defense Minister Ehud Barak has also held a number of meetings to review the operation.
Like in previous large-scale evacuations – most recently the 2006 removal of the Amona outpost – the IDF will work in multiple “circles.” The outer circle will consist of IDF troops who will be responsible for closing off the area around Beit El and preventing large numbers of right-wing activists from reaching the area to bolster resistance to the evacuation.
The middle circle will consist of members of the Border Police, who will be responsible for sealing off the Ulpana neighborhood, which Alon will declare a closed military zone.
The inner circle will be made up of police who will carry out the evacuation itself.
The IDF predicts that resistance will be moderate, although it could escalate depending on the number of outside supporters who reach the outpost prior to the evacuation.
“We are prepared for a widerange of scenarios,” one defense official said.
The IDF and Defense Ministry have held a number of meetings with settler leaders in recent weeks with the aim of getting a majority of the residents to evacuate on their own before the end of the month.