National Union party chairman and Knesset Member Yaakov Katz (Ketzaleh) told the Knesset Wednesday he is withdrawing his bill on the Ulpana neighborhood, threatened with a court-ordered demolition.
The bill would require compensation for those adversely affected by a legal determination that their homes, approved by previous governments, were built on private Arab land.
He withdrew the bill moments before a scheduled first vote on the proposed law, which would have circumvented the court order that was issued after the justices accepted a left-wing petition claiming five homes were built on private Arab land.
The neighborhood is located in Beit El, one of the leading national religious communities in Samaria (Shomron).
Ketzaleh made his announcement during a stormy debate after he was promised by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that the government would not oppose the bill if he introduces it two weeks from now, the period in which the Prime Minister hopes to find a solution to the problem posed by the court order.
The National Union chairman charged that left-wing Knesset Members are acting against fellow Jews. “Netanyahu has conceded to Barak over building in Judea and Samaria,” he said. “A Jew no longer cares about his brother – he has a heart of stone.”
Likud Minister Benny Begin responded to MK Katz, “Prime Minister Netanyahu is trying to find the correct solution within the boundaries of legal restrictions.”
Barak has argued that passing a law that would cancel a standing court order is not suitable for a democratic country and would serve as ammunition for the anti-Israel movement.