Both sides are preparing for the expulsion of 30 families from five apartment buildings in Beit El’s Ulpana neighborhood to permit destroying the buildings as per a ruling of the High Court of Justice.
An effort via legislation in Knesset also failed as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu opposed the bill, which was defeated. The hunger strike outside the Knesset that preceded the vote failed to shift the decision of the prime minister and his cabinet; with the latter fearing a law circumventing a High Court decision would delegitimize Israel in the international community. The European Union has already released a sharp protest over plans to legalize a number of yishuvim, including Rechalim. The ministers feared acting now to legalize the five buildings would have harsh ramifications in the international arena.
Nobel Prize laureate Prof. Yisrael Aumann has joined those calling on the government not to expel the Jews, warning of the dangerous precedent such a move will set, possible marking the beginning of the destruction of the Jewish communities throughout Yehuda and Shomron since the move will result in a flood of Arab petitions citing land claims to the High Court of Justice.
Following the failed Knesset vote, preparation began for carrying out the High Court order, which calls for destroying the homes by July 1, 2012 and this requires ousting the families first.
Police have announced that beginning next week, no one will be permitted near the Shomron community other than residents, as authorities seek to prevent the thousands expected to turn out to take part in the expulsion resistance.
Earlier in the week, Ichud HaLeumi MK Yaakov Katz, a founder of Beit El, announced that “no one can prevent us from being moser nefesh to stop the expulsion,” calling on Am Yisrael to come to Beit El to take part in the resistance. Katz did state that no one is to lift a hand to security forces or damage and equipment.
The right-wing is divided, with some calling for passive resistance while others have vowed the resistance will dwarf that which was seen at the Amona expulsion six years ago.
An audible voice against protests is Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, a prominent posek in the dati leumi community. Rabbi Aviner feels that once the government decision is made it is too late for protests and such a move would send a bad message to the international community, referring to the painful scenes of Gush Katif of Jews against Jews.
Police are well-aware the expulsion may turn violent and in preparation for such an eventuality, 3,000 troops have been assigned to the operation, to move 30 families from their home. Katz has called on the masses, hoping to bring tens of thousands to Beit El. His mora d’asra, Rabbi Zalman Baruch Melamed Shlita, rav of Beit El, has placed him, Ketzaleh, in charge of the resistance to the expulsion.
Activists are calling on the tzibur to begin making its way to Beit El, before shabbos, to bring mattresses and sleeping bags to prepare to stay for the long haul before roads to the yishuv are blocked. Maps are being prepared to distribute to those seeking routes that permit getting to the community via paths and routes that are not known to the general public.
Both sides are preparing and as the situation exists, it promises to escalate early into next week.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)