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Daily Israel Report

Video: Ulpana Resident Speaks Out!

Baruch Kitay is fighting to save his home in Beit El's threatened Givat Ulpana neighborhood from 'rash decisions based on fallacy.'
By Gabe Kahn & Yoni K
First Publish: 6/4/2012, 9:59 PM

Arutz Sheva on Monday interviewed Baruch Kitay, a resident of Beit El's threatened Givat Ulpana neighborhood, as he prepared to March on Jerusalem to save his home.

The two-day march on Israel's capital was arranged after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's office announced late Saturday that the government intended to move five threatened homes in the neighborhood – and would oppose legislation to legalize them.

"We're in Beit El," Kitay told Arutz Sheva. "We have a lot people who support us living here, and to go against the injustice which is being done against us. The government, when Ita and Efrayim Tzur were killed, Netenyahu pointed out, 'Here we're going to build a thousand homes.' So here, we are demanding that they stand on their promise."

Q: So, practically speaking, what are the demands we are talking about? Do you want legislation?

A: "Definitely legislation," Kitay said. "There's nothing less that we will accept. There's nothing less that would be good for us. A home is not just bricks and mortar, a home is memories and love and families and children. We're not prepared to move our home for anything. A home is worth more than money."

Q: What can you tell us about some the current proposal, that the house would be cut into pieces and moved?

A: "That sounds like science fiction, and anything that sounds too good to be true, is too good to be true," Kitay said. "And, I think, as I said before, a home is not bricks. You can move bricks, but you can't move memories. And that's something that we're not perpared to stand for."

"In '99, they said this land was bought by an Arab from a neighboring village. And it was bought legally, there are documents, a large sum of money was paid. And for over eight years that Arab was quiet. He saw all the land being bought, he saw the land being built on, and he saw buildings coming up on this land. Big buildings, not small shacks.

"At no point did he say anything about this land- that it's his, that it wasn't bought from him correctly, and only lately, in this last few years, he woke up and said 'this is mine.'

"The government took a rash decision, to decide, okay, we should knock down all these houses, without even waiting for a district court to say who really owns the land. At the very least we'd like the district court to decide who the land belongs to and make decisions, not just to make rash decisions based on fallacy."