June 4, 2012
Ulpana activists begin march to Jerusalem
Hundreds of settlement activists began marching Monday from the Ulpana neighborhood on the outskirts of the Beit El settlement in the West Bank toward Jerusalem.
The protest march is against plans to raze five apartment buildings in Ulpana, which are on land claimed by Palestinian families.
Some 300 supporters of Ulpana waving flags and carrying signs set out from the neighborhood to march to a protest tent in Jerusalem located outside of the Supreme Court, where hunger strikers have been sitting. They plan to reach Jerusalem on Tuesday.
The marchers are supporting a bill to be voted on in Knesset on Wednesday that would that would override a Supreme Court decision to remove the Ulpana buildings. The legislation would retroactively legalize buildings built on contested land if the owner does not challenge the construction within four years.
Israel’s Supreme Court ruled in September that the neighborhood should be razed, siding with a lawsuit filed by Palestinians who said they owned the land.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proposed a three-point plan to physically move the buildings to land that is not claimed by Palestinians, build new housing and vigorously defend the neighborhoods in future litigation.
The plan requires the approval of Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, who spent Sunday in consultations about the possible move.