Ulpana home before demolition
Ulpana home before demolitionHarel Kohen

The Defense Ministry on Monday gave final approvals for the reconstruction of the five buildings that were evacuated and sawed in the Ulpana neighborhood of the town of Beit El last June and for the building of 90 new housing units in the town.

The decision was made in accordance with the agreement that was reached with the residents of the neighborhood, who agreed to leave their homes non-violently in return for the government building 300 new homes in Beit El and establishing a ministerial committee that will deal with issues regarding the Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria.

The approvals given on Monday were for the completion of planning and allocation of land, and in the coming weeks a final permit to begin the construction work is expected. As part of the construction work, the five buildings containing 30 housing units will be rebuilt.

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.

The homes were to be sawn into 108 pieces and reassembled in a new location. In early November the government asked the Supreme Court for more time, noting that the sawing process was taking longer than expected.