The mora d’asra of Beit El, Rabbi Zalman Baruch Melamed has signed a deal with the government by which the families in the Ulpana neighborhood slated for eviction will leave voluntarily by next week’s deadline in exchange for the government’s commitment to built 300 additional housing units in the community. In addition, the five apartment buildings that must be removed will not be demolished, but rather moved to a new location.
The deal agreed to by Rabbi Melamed will avoid a confrontation with security forces while significantly adding to the growth of the Shomron community. The agreement also represents a major victory for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who feared a possible confrontation between settlers and security forces that many promised would dwarf the resistance seen at the expulsion from Amona.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)