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      Hotovely: PM Wants to Save Jewish Neighborhoods

      MK Tzip Hotovely says the Prime Minister is looking for ways to save Jewish neighborhoods threatened by the High Court.
      By Gavriel Queenann & Yoni K
      First Publish: 11/1/2011, 10:47 PM

      Nationalist firebrand Tzipi Hotovely said Tuesday the Likud faction informed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that court-mandated demolition orders in Judea and Samaria have created a serious "political problem" for party.

      "We spoke to the Prime Minister during the weekly meeting he has with members of his party," Hotovely said. "There were about twenty people [members of Knesset -ed.] who mentioned [the settlement enterprise] was a part of our ideology - and it's justice, I think. These neighborhoods must remain Israeli and can't be destroyed as we have seen in Migron and in Amona."

      "I think he got the message - the political message - that this is something that can't be done," Hotovely added. "He said he will try to find a solution, and at the moment he is considering bringing judicial professors who will create some kind of committee to determine the status of the land. But in general he's going to 'take care of it'."

      Hotovely's comments were made during a visit to the threatened Ulpana neighborhood in Beit El, which is one of several Jewish communities faced with demolition orders mandated by Israel's High Court.

      "I'm coming here to strengthen these communities," Hotovely said. "And to say I will do everything I can to ensure these neighborhoods will remain and continue to be built."

      "Today is a very important day," Hotovely said. "We have a judicial review of [threatened] neighborhoods that were built on land that officially has no status. Some people think it is the private land of Palestinians, but the truth is that no one has brought any proof of property ownership."

      "When you see the area around us, you see so many empty mountains and fields that you want to cry over the fact that these beautiful pioneers should be destroyed and ruined by a judicial decision that is not based... on any proof of ownership."

      Hotovely's comments echo serious criticism of the High Court, which has at once refused to examine evidence pertaining to land ownership in cases before it while at the same time ordering the destruction of Jewish neighborhoods.

      Rabbis, lawmakers, and legal activists have argued - in cases where actual evidence of prior ownership is brought to the relevant court - there are other options that do not play into the hands of partisan ideologues or run counter to national aspirations.

      Among suggestions presented by lawmakers are monetary compensation or equivalent grants of land when claims are proven. A statute of limitations for disputing land claims has also been recommended.