Beit El Gets New Land
The Central District Commander signed Thursday on documents adding new land to the town of Beit El. The town, in the Binyamin region north of Jerusalem, now includes land previously used for a Border Police base.
The new land was promised several weeks ago in exchange for the peaceful eviction of families from several homes in the Ulpana neighborhood. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the families that if they agreed to leave, the government would allow hundreds of homes to be built in place of those that were demolished.
Most of the new homes are to be built on the former base.
Thirty homes in the Ulpana neighborhood were evacuated and sealed after an Arab man living under the Palestinian Authority claimed ownership of the land they sit on. The land had been purchased from a second Arab man, but the new claimant said the original seller was not the true owner.
The Supreme Court accepted the man’s suit and ordered the homes demolished. A lower court has yet to rule on the question of ownership.
Some of those evicted refused to leave their homes despite the agreement between Beit El leaders and the government. Others remained optimistic despite the expulsion. A mental health expert found that children were traumatized in either case.