Police are getting ready for a confrontation with residents and protesters in the Ulpana neighborhood. On Sunday, Arutz Sheva's Hebrew service uncovered a training plan for Border Guards and other security forces, that included drills aimed at providing troops with skills to remove men, women, and children from the Givat Ha'ulpana neighborhood of Beit El. On Monday, Ha'aretz reported that some 1,000 troops were to be provided with that training.
According to a decision by the High Court, Jewish residents of the neighborhood have until the end of the month to leave their homes. When they do, they will find themselves living in flimsy “caravillas” - essentially cheap mobile homes – while permanent housing is built for them. A plan by the government to physically move the five buildings in question off land claimed by an Arab has been called everything from brilliant to ridiculous, with many residents of the compound, as well as other right-wing activists, saying that plan is just a “fig leaf” for the complete demolition of the neighborhood.
The drills are said to be taking place at an IDF base in the Jordan Valley. Along with border police, members of the feared Yassam police unit are participating, as are a group of officers on horseback. Both groups are expected to participate in any forced removal of the Ulpana residents, ominously recalling the actions by Yassam and horseback officers at Amona several years ago.
The report said that the troops expect to be ready to act by the end of the month, and to go into action immediately when ordered to do so by the government. Any such order would be personally given by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
Meanwhile, residents of the Ulpana, and of Beit El, plan to dig in and resist, if they can. A letter by Rabbi Zalman Baruch Melamed, Rabbi of Beit El and head of the local Yeshiva, was distributed to residents Sunday night. In the letter, Rabbi Melamed urges residents and activists to be ready to “make sacrifices” in order to save the neighborhood. Quoting Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook z”tl, Rabbi Melamed writes that “all faithful Jews must stand ready to act selflessly against the plan to take the Land away from us and transfer it to non-Jewish hands. All Jews are commanded to join in this struggle, without regard for life or limb,” Rabbi Melamed continued in his quote from Rabbi Kook.
Rabbi Melamed had special praise for National Union Chairman MK Ya'akov Katz (Ketzaleh), whom he said was “at the head of the battle against this terrible edict of destruction. He follows the path of Rabbi Kook, with self-sacrifice, and I congratulate and bless him for his leading of the struggle so far, with great success.” In the letter, Rabbi Melamed adds that he “calls on the entire community, and to the MKs who are loyal to the Land of Israel, to join the struggle in the spirit of sacrifice.”