Ulpana home before demolition
Ulpana home before demolitionHarel Kohen

The Defense Ministry began preparing on Sunday for the demolition of five apartment buildings in the Ulpana neighborhood of the town of Beit El.

Neighborhood resident and spokesman Harel Kohen reported that workmen began wrapping the homes with scaffolding in preparation for their demolition.

Kohen took a photo of one of the buildings, noting that it “was built by the Barak government in 1999. These apartments housed families who received mortgages, incentives and bonuses and lived in them for about 12 years.”

He added, “They were uprooted from their homes by the Likud government two months ago", in a cynical reference to the fact that a right-wing government is carrying out the demolition.

The 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 of the same name, but the new claimant said the original seller was not the true owner.

The Supreme Court accepted the man’s suit after a PA court accepted it and ordered the homes demolished. A lower court has yet to rule on the question of ownership.

The residents of the Ulpana neighborhood agreed to leave their homes non-violently. In return, the government promised to build 300 new homes in Beit El and agreed to establish a ministerial committee that will deal with issues regarding the Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria (Yehuda and Shomron).

Beit El Mayor Moshe Rosenbaum recently told Arutz Sheva that despite the government’s promise, the legal system is imposing bureaucratic difficulties on the residents, making it difficult to build the promised 300 homes.