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Video: Beit El Homes Sawed

The 'sawing' and relocation of 5 buildings, upon the orders of the High Court, has begun.
By Gil Ronen & Yoni Kempinski
First Publish: 10/16/2012, 5:42 PM

The process of "sawing" and relocation of five apartment buildings in Beit El's Ulpana Neighborhood has begun.

Each of the buildings being moved from the Ulpana Neighborhood in Beit El will be "sawed" into 108 parts, which will be stored in a special storage site. They will then be reassembled at a new location inside Beit El.

Thirty-two families that live in the buildings were relocated to temporary "caravilla" homes for the duration of the process.

Older families, which have more children, received "caravillas" with a floor area of 90 square meters, while younger couples were housed in 60 sq. m. caravillas.

The relocation was forced upon the state of Israel and Beit El by the High Court for Justice, in a process widely perceived as flawed, in response to a motion by leftists and Arabs who claimed the land was not legally purchased. The court ordered the buildings razed.

The Beit El Institutions paid an Arab land owner, Ibrahim Judah Mustafa Hasan, a large sum of money to legally purchase the 7.4 acres (30 dunams) upon which the buildings stand. The plaintiffs claimed that Hasan was not the rightful owner, however. Beit El argued that even if the purchase was indeed from the wrong man, once the apartment buildings are built, it is commonplace in legal proceedings to compensate the rightful owner, and not demolish the homes.

Facing intense criticism from nationalists, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu decided that instead of destroying the structures, they would be relocated in an expensive process, and Beit El would be compensated with more housing units in several locations.