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Israeli settlers leave illegal outpost

06-26-2012 22:38 BJT

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Israeli authorities have begun removing a group of Jewish settlers, who had built homes on Palestinian-owned land near the West Bank city of Ramallah.

It follows an Israeli court decision that their occupation was illegal. The settlers will be relocated to another part of the same West Bank settlement but that decision has sparked an angry reaction from the Palestinian Authority.

Moving out....

Under a government relocation deal, 16 families living in the Ulpana neighborhood of the West Bank Jewish settlement of Beit El, have begun to leave.

Israel’s Supreme Court ruled on Monday that five apartment blocs in Ulpana must be demolished by July 1st - because they sit on privately owned Palestinian land.

The settlers are going quietly.... the government has promised them 300 housing units in a nearby area.

Baruch Gordon, Ulpana neighbourhood resident, said, "We are happy about the addition of a new residential neighbourhood in Beit El, which is three time the size of the neighbourhood here. On the other hand we are very very deeply saddened at what in our eyes is a tremendous injustice, the decision of the Supreme Court, The Supreme Court has rushed to give a decision to demolish these homes before the ownership has been determined in the court itself."

But the Palestinian National Authority is NOT happy.

It slammed the relocation deal, saying the settlers are simply being moved to more land owned by the Palestinians.

Many of the settlers say they were unaware of the ownership of the land.

Ulpana neighbourhood resident Galit Friedman said, "I don’t want to hinder this eviction. It’s not happening because of you or us, it is not happening due to the cruelty of anyone, there is no villain here. Its just our weakness, that we are not close as brothers.... that we do not know well enough what our place is in our land. We are not fully aware of the rights we have over our land."

Some 311 thousand Israeli settlers and 2.5 million Palestinians live in the West Bank. The United Nations says ALL the Jewish settlements are ILLEGAL, since the West Bank was occupied by Israel in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

The issue is the main obstacle to a resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.


Editor:Zhang Jingya |Source: CNTV.CN

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