Ulpana neighborhood
Ulpana neighborhoodIsrael news photo: Flash 90

16 families from the Ulpana neighborhood of Beit El will leave their homes on Tuesday morning, in accordance with the agreement reached with the government last week. As part of the agreement the residents agreed to leave their homes and in return, the government will keep its promise to build 300 new homes in Beit El.

The 16 families will move to a neighborhood of temporary caravan homes nearby. The remaining 17 families whose homes were ordered to be demolished by the Supreme Court will leave their homes and move to caravans on Thursday.

The Defense Ministry promised on Monday that the temporary caravans will be connected to water, electricity, gas and telephone lines by the weekend.

Meanwhile, the families rejected on Monday the media reports in recent days which said they are willingly leaving their homes.

“They are trying to paint a picture as if our expulsion is a voluntary evacuation - but it is not,” Ulpana spokesman Harel Kohen told Channel 2 News on Monday. "Even if we decided that we won’t be violent during the eviction, this is not a voluntary evacuation but an expulsion for all intents and purposes.”

Kohen said that 7,000 Beit El residents will get together for morning prayers at 7:00 a.m. Tuesday morning, just before Defense Ministry officials arrive to evict the Ulpana residents. Pointing an accusing finger at the Israel government, he added, “The nation of Israel is strong and sane. But it has a government that has imaginary fears from big words like ‘The Hague’ and ‘the State Attorney.’ The government is moved by the hate rulings made by the Supreme Court, but soon the people will replace it with leadership that matches their opinions.”

Kohen added that he believes that he and the other Ulpana residents will eventually return to the site which they are being forced to leave. “The neighborhood is not being evacuated because it was built on private land; there is a discussion in the District Court about this. We hope that the houses will not be destroyed because of hallucinatory reasons, and if the government remains sane and does not destroy the houses - we will succeed in proving that they do not belong to anyone and then we will return to them.”