Right-wing activists plan to set out on a two-day march to Jerusalem Monday to protest governmental plans to demolish five apartment buildings in the Ulpana outpost by July 1.Can we be clear here? Netanyahu was not elected to please the "international" community, and any weakness he shows on the issue could cost him. If voters will punish conservative parties that don't deliver, then there's every possibility he could lose next year. I don't think we should underestimate.
Another 24 activists have embarked on a hunger strike.
The High Court of Justice last month mandated the demolition of the structures, which house 30 families, because they were built without permits on private Palestinian property.
Right-wing activists have called on ministers to prevent the demolition by supporting two bills – by MKs Ya’acov Katz (National Union) and Zevulun Orlev (Habayit Hayehudi) – that would retroactively legalize unauthorized West Bank Jewish construction, such as the Ulpana homes.
Katz and Orlev are bringing their bills to the Knesset plenum Wednesday for a preliminary reading. But the bills can only pass with ministerial support.
To date, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has refused to support legislation and instead spoke with Likud ministers Sunday at their weekly meeting about a plan to relocate the Ulpana buildings to an authorized tract of land in the Beit El settlement.
He told the ministers that he was waiting for a response from Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein, who he has charged with checking the legality of the plan.
Weinstein is expected to respond to the prime minister in the next few days.
Netanyahu also asked him to examine the impact the Ulpana demolition would have on the ability of left-wing groups, such as Peace Now and Yesh Din, to continue to use litigation to force the state to demolish West Bank Jewish homes.
Katz has estimated that there are some 9,000 West Bank Jewish homes that lack proper permits.
Netanyahu told the ministers that the government wants to both uphold the rule of law as well as defend and strengthen the settlements.
A relocation plan, he said, would meet both goals and would expand the Beit El settlement.
Netanyahu said he would support legislation if Weinstein concludes that legal issues prohibit the relocation of the homes.
The international community is likely to frown on such legislation, which would transform dozens of outposts into newly recognized legal settlements.
In some related news, the Shas party has once again announced they're willing to be his yes-men and vote in favor of destroying the neighborhood if Netanyahu doesn't allow ministers to vote freely:
A spokesperson for the Shas party announced on Sunday evening that the party’s ministers will vote against the outpost regulation law and in favor of the demolition of the Ulpana neighborhood in Beit El, if Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu chooses to maintain coalition discipline and does not allow Cabinet ministers to vote according to their conscience.Needless to say, their bizarre weakness in loyalty to the land of Israel is a disgrace. This of course is also the party that's been abusing taxpayer money for years to fund their yeshivas yet not show any true dedication to the Torah's teachings, if they're willing to turn against their own, and that does include Hasidics too.
“The party will support the regulation law only if there is freedom to vote; if not, our ministers will vote like the other ministers,” said the party’s spokesman.
Earlier on Sunday, Shas chairman Eli Yishai had announced that ministers from the party intend to vote on Wednesday in favor of the bill, that will authorize as-yet unauthorized communities in Judea and Samaria (Yehuda and Shomron).