Police hold large scale drill ahead of Ulpana evacuation

Officials tell 'Post' that officers waiting for order from IDF to evacuate W. Bank outpost homes, but say possibility of an agreement with settlers still exists; rabbis call for action, prayer to prevent evacuation.

Ulpana tires 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Ulpana tires 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Police held a large-scale exercise at an IDF base in the Arava region of southern Israel on Monday to simulate the evacuation of five apartment buildings in the West Bank outpost of Uplana.
The homes are slated for demolition by the end of the month in line with a High Court ruling, which said that the structures were built on private Palestinian land.
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 said that the possibility of an agreement with the settlers still existed, which would prevent the need for a forced evacuation.
Large numbers of police, including Special Patrol Officers and Border Police, took part in the drill.
During the evacuation, police will form the inner circles around the homes, leading residents out if necessary, while preventing right-wing activists from reaching the site to abort the demolition.
Police are keen to complete the evacuation as quickly and with as little confrontation as possible, and trained ways to achieve that goal on Monday.
Meanwhile, Rabbi Dov Lior, a leading figure in the national-religious camp, along with several other rabbis, called on Monday for prayer and action to “nullify the decree” against “the settlements of the Binyamin region in general, and of Beit El in particular,” referring to the Ulpana outpost on the settlement’s outskirts, slated for evacuation by July 1.
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 in order that they not be uprooted from their inheritance.”
The rabbis also called on the public in general to pray to God and exert influence over ministers and public officials in order that they do as much as possible to prevent the evacuation of the Ulpana outpost.