UPDATE 10:30 pm Sunday Israel time. At 9:49 pm there was a massive assault of Palestinian “rock” throwers on Route 443. Numerous Israeli cars damaged. At 9:38 pm–less than an hour ago, there was an incoming rocket alert for the Eshkol region of southern Israel. At 9:36 pm. two Palestinian terrorist mortar shells exploded in the Eshkol region.
UPDATE 7 pm Sunday Israel time.
There has been virtually no reportage of the events of last night around Gaza–with launches of Qassam rockets by Palestinian terrorists against Israeli towns and communities along the Gaza border and subsequent attacks by the IAF against the usual “smuggling tunnels” and “weapons factories.”
As your humble servant has been predicting for months, the Ulpana situation is coming to a head and causing fractures in the Coalition.
It is estimated that there are some 9000 Jewish “unauthorized” community homes in Judea and Samaria that might be vulnerable to lawsuits brought by organizations on the Israeli “left.”
In one such lawsuit brought last year, Peace Now and Yesh Din filed petitions at the Israel Supreme Court claiming that 5 apartment buildings in the Ulpana neighborhood of the Judean community of Beit-El were built on private Palestinian land.
The Israel Supreme Court agreed with the petition and ordered the five apartment buildings “destroyed” by July 1, 2012. Note that the Supreme Court did not order that the entire Ulpana neighborhood be destroyed–but that 5 apartment buildings within it be razed.
In the meantime, Knesset members Yaacov Katz (National Union) and Zevulon Orlev (Jewish Home)–who are members of Netanyahu’s coalition– have proposed a law that would retroactively legalize unauthorized construction in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.
Netanyahu “conditionally” opposes this law and today has proposed his own solution:
1. evacuate the Ulpana apartment buildings and temporarily house the 30 Jewish families in caravans (trailers) in another section of Beit El.
2. physically move the 5 apartment buildings houses to a legal area nearby (Netanyahu has asked for an opinion from the Israel Attorney General as to whether the buildings can be “moved” instead of being “destroyed”–and says that if the buildings must be destroyed he will support the proposed law of Katz and Orlev).
3. expand the building of homes in Beit El, building 10 apartment buildings for each apartment building evacuated and moved, thereby adding 1000 residents to Beit El.
4. implement legislation to stop future lawsuits by the likes of Peace Now and Yesh Din.
Why is what happens at Ulpana significant? Because the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria already feel under attack–not only from Palestinian terrorists but also from the Israeli government itself, in form of the administrator of the area Defense Minister Ehud Barak (who ironically was largely responsible for the building at Ulpana to start with).
To repeat what was said at the beginning of this blog, it is thought that if the five buildings in Ulpana are destroyed, “left-wing” groups will bring a parade of lawsuits to the Court. Already, the fledgling community of Amona is set to be demolished by the end of the year.
In this sense, Ulpana is a line in the sand.
And, whereas groups on the Israeli “Left” were celebrating and applauding Netanyahu’s decision yesterday to evacuate the five buildings, they have awakened this morning to the reality of what Netanyahu plans to do.
If Netanyahu’s proposal takes effect, they may have indeed won the battle and lost the war.
Your humble servant has begun to recognize those of you who support Israel by donating to this website. In the coming days, I will include more information about how you can do this.