Beit El Rabbi Zalman Melamed joined Ulpana neighborhood expulsion victims Tuesday for their last morning prayers before the expulsion of the families.
A feeling of mourning and anger hung over the neighborhood, where the residents said there would be no violence. After the 6:45 prayers concluded, the Defense Ministry deployed workers to load up their possessions and move them to temporary “caravan homes," trailer housing without wheels.
No soldiers were present Tuesday morning, and parents moved their children elsewhere so they would not have to witness the removal of possessions and the first 15 families, which is to be completed by nightfall. The expulsion of 17 other families is expected to be completed by Thursday.
The expulsions were ordered by the High Court although some of the families have been living in five multi-apartment buildings for more than a decade. The court accepted a Peace Now petition and rejected arguments that the land on which the homes were built was bought from the original Arab owners, although no proof was presented that the supposed Arab owner had legal possession of the property.
The Defense Ministry has been working feverishly the past two weeks to prepare the temporary homes for the residents of the Ulpana neighborhood homes that were singled out in the Peace Now petition. Most of the neighborhood remains intact because there is no question concerning the legality of the rest of the homes.
Ironically, the temporary homes are located on a base adjacent to Beit El which is the home of Border Police, who have carried out hundreds of middle-of-the-night demolitions, often without presenting court approval, of dozens of outposts in Judea and Samaria.