Itzik Shadmi
Itzik ShadmiIsrael news photo: Arutz Sheva

The Head of the Binyamin Region Residents Council, Itzik Shadmi, said on Wednesday that he believes that the agreement that was reached with the residents of Beit El’s Ulpana neighborhood, while unfortunate, also had positive aspects to it.

“There are mixed feelings but we benefitted from the agreement and the settlement has benefited in that many more houses will be built and the houses in the Ulpana will not really be demolished,” Shadmi told Arutz Sheva. “We’ve also saved ourselves from a confrontation. If there hadn’t been an agreement there would have been a confrontation when the forces would have come to evict the residents. We were preparing measures that would have delayed the evacuation. Even if the army would have succeeded, it would not have gone easily and I will not go into details.”

He added that the next fight will be for Givat Assaf, another area community slated for demolition.

“We're preparing for the fight next, which is the Givat Assaf,” said Shadmi, adding, “What is certain is that Peace Now will now think twice before submitting petitions to the Supreme Court, because for thirty houses that are demolished, 300 news one are built.”

On Tuesday, the residents of the Ulpana neighborhood agreed to leave their homes willingly and non-violently. In return, the government will keep its promise to built 300 new homes in Beit El.

The agreement between the residents and the government was signed after ten days of negotiations between government representatives and representatives from Beit El, including the town’s rabbi, Rav Zalman Baruch Melamed, and its mayor Moshe Rosenbaum.

The agreement includes the construction of 300 housing units in Beit El in a defined and agreed upon schedule and the establishment of a ministerial committee that will deal with issues regarding the Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria (Yehuda and Shomron). The committee is to ensure that, in future, no decisions to demolish neighborhoods or communities are made by the government, the Attorney General or the Ministry of Defense.

The agreement also stipulates that the homes on the disputed land will be moved to a new location without being destroyed.

Minister Daniel Hershkowitz (Jewish Home) said on Wednesday that he is pleased with the agreement.