Hotovely at the ceremony
Hotovely at the ceremony Hotovely's bureau

Just 24 hours after the demolition of the Draynoff homes in Beit El, Knesset members took part in a cornerstone-laying ceremony at the same location for renewed construction.

"We are laying the cornerstone today for the construction of 300 housing units, and relaying a message in the government's name – that we must build and keep developing the settlement enterprise,” Deputy Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) said.

"We must keep on building this way,” she added. “Half-a-million Jews are a reality that no element in the world could evict or uproot. We must keep building while respecting the rule of law in Israel.”

The new homes, according to spokespersons for the Council and Local Authority, will not experience the same problems the previous structures did – because, unlike previously, all the paperwork for planning and construction is in place before building is to commence.

Demolition of the contested Draynoff homes in Beit El, in the Binyamin region north of Jerusalem, took place Wednesday, a day before a High Court deadline for them to be torn down. Legal maneuvers to keep the demolitions from taking place were exhausted after the Court refused to issue an injunction, a move that project supporters had hoped would be implemented after the Civil Authority last week retroactively authorized the building plan for the project.

The cornerstone-laying follows government approval Wednesday of the construction of 300 new homes in Beit El, at the Prime Minister's Office. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu promised to build 300 units in Beit El several years ago, when the Ulpana homes were relocated – but never acted upon his promise.