Remaining 18 families leaving Ulpana outpost

Remaining 18 families leaving Ulpana outpost

First 15 families left their homes Tuesday without resistance or violence

Crews moving belongings out of the Ulpana homes Tuesday. (photo credit: Courtesy Israel Vandy/Bureau of Yaakov Katz)
Crews moving belongings out of the Ulpana homes Tuesday. (photo credit: Courtesy Israel Vandy/Bureau of Yaakov Katz)

The evacuation of the Ulpana outpost in the West Bank is expected to wrap up Thursday as the 18 remaining families leave their homes and move into temporary accommodation nearby.

As with the first round of evacuations on Tuesday, no violence is expected.

The evacuation of five buildings from the Beit El settlement neighborhood, as ordered last month by Israel’s High Court of Justice, began as planned on Tuesday morning, when trucks hired by the Defense Ministry came to move residents belongings to temporary housing.

On Tuesday there were no security forces present as the 15 families left their houses and upheld their end of an agreement reached by settler leaders and the government. According to the arrangement the 33 families from the Ulpana neighborhood would leave peacefully, and in return 300 new housing units will be constructed in another part of the settlement.

The families are being moved into temporary pre-fab “caravillas” on military land nearby, until their new homes within Beit El are ready.

The agreement to go peacefully was put to the test when a handful of right-wing activists entered one of the apartments, with the intention of staying and resisting the planed evacuation of the buildings. Neighbors convinced them to leave.

A number of families said they intended to passively resist the removal order by refusing to leave under their own power.

The buildings in Givat Ulpana, which a court ruled must be torn down because they are sitting on private Palestinian land, are slated for demolition by July 1.

The government is backing a plan to take apart and rebuild the homes elsewhere, a costly project that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says will blunt some of the pain for the evacuated families.

The government recently petitioned the court for an extension on the demolition order. A decision is expected in the coming days.

The Ulpana evacuation is the first of a number of planned removal operations in the coming months, including at the Migron and Givat Assaf outposts.

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