A7News: 2nd Phase of Ulpana Eviction: Force and Arrests

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Friday, Jun. 29 ’12, Tammuz 9, 5772

HEADLINES:

1. 2ND PHASE OF ULPANA EVICTION: FORCE AND ARRESTS 2. ARAB WORKERS SEAL BEIT EL HOMES 3. RIGHTS GROUP: STATE ENCOURAGES POLICE TO ATTACK ‘SETTLERS’

4. NETANYAHU TO ARAB MKS: LIEBERMAN IS RIGHT 5. MK: NO AFFIRMATIVE ACTION WITHOUT ARAB SERVICE 6. TIBI: RAMON IN TAIBE IN EXCHANGE FOR ARAFAT IN NETANYA 7. HAMAS CONCERNED OVER UNILATERAL ISRAELI DISENGAGEMENT 8. HERSHKOWITZ: TORAH DEMANDS THAT WE JOIN THE ARMY

1. 2ND PHASE OF ULPANA EVICTION: FORCE AND ARRESTS by Elad Benari

The eviction of the second group of families from the Ulpana neighborhood of Beit El was completed on Thursday evening, after Border Police forces removed from their home Yoel and Yiska Fattal, a couple who refused to leave willingly.

The officers arrived and told the Fattals they had to leave their home willing, in accordance with the agreement reached between the Beit El leadership and the government. After the couple refused, the police said they would be forced to remove them from their home in an unpleasant manner. At this point, the officers picked up Yoel and took him out of the house.

Meanwhile, police arrested at least eight right-wing extremists who barricaded themselves in one of the Ulpana homes.

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The second group which was evicted Thursday is mostly made up of older families, which have more children than the ones evicted Tuesday. Therefore they will be receiving “caravillas” with a floor area of 90 square meters, as opposed to the 60 sq. m. caravillas that the first group received.

Army Radio reported on Thursday that each of the buildings being moved from the Ulpana neighborhood will be “sawed” into 108 parts, which will be stored in a special storage site. They will then be reassembled at a new location inside Beit El.

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2. ARAB WORKERS SEAL BEIT EL HOMES

by Maayana Miskin

After the final families were evicted Thursday from their homes in Beit El, workers came to seal off the buildings to make sure nobody can reenter.

The work was done by Palestinian Authority residents employed by a company hired by the Defense Ministry.

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The ministry took pains to hire Israeli workers to perform other tasks related to the eviction, in an attempt to avoid causing evicted families additional pain. The families” belongings were packed, shipped across town and delivered by Jewish laborers.

The Tatzpit news organization filmed the work being done.

Most of the dozens of families evicted from the buildings are now living in a caravan site on the military base next to Beit El. Some of the families were sent to hotels in the north because their caravans were not ready for occupancy. Others planned, ahead of time, to go to other communities.

The mobile homes provided by the Defense Ministry were taken from families expelled from Gush Katif in 2005. The Gush Katif families had been promised the homes to allow them to make a long-awaited move to the Lachish region, away from the Gaza belt area where most currently reside.

The buildings in Beit El that were cleared out are to be broken into 108 pieces, then rebuilt elsewhere in the Binyamin region town. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told residents that in addition to rebuilding the homes, his government will build another 300 homes in Beit El.

3. RIGHTS GROUP: STATE ENCOURAGES POLICE TO ATTACK ‘SETTLERS’

by Maayana Miskin

The primary cause of police violence against protesters is Israeli policy, human rights activist Orit Strook charged, speaking to Arutz Sheva from outside a courtroom.

“The foremost reason [for violence] is the protection that the State Prosecution extends to the officers,” she said. Strook also noted the “great determination” with which state attorneys defend violent officers against lawsuits.

A current case demonstrates the problem, she said. The state is paying for three attorneys to represent officers accused of extreme violence against a young Jewish protester during the eviction from Amona.

“It hurts that six and a half years later, we”re still fighting in court over Amona,” she said. “The state is making every effort to protect the officers”

Some of those hurt by police brutality in Amona will never see their attackers charged in court due to a statute of limitations, she noted.

Despite the problems, Strook said, the Yesha Human Rights Group has seen police violence decrease over the past few years. “When we first established the Yesha Human Rights Group, police violence against settlers and the right was terrible… It was really a pogrom, not [just] violence,” she recalled.

Today, violence against right-wing protesters is less common, she said. Police violence against those in the hareidi-religious world, where there is no equivalent to the Yesha Human Rights group, remains more frequent, she charged.

Regarding allegations of police violence against left-wing protesters in Tel Aviv, Strook said, “What happened to the leftists… I don”t think it”s OK.  It”s serious, every violence in serious – but it”s small change compared to what happened to us in the past, or even today.”

4. NETANYAHU TO ARAB MKS: LIEBERMAN IS RIGHT by Gil Ronen

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke Thursday evening with Arab MKs Ahmed Tibi and Mohammed Barakeh about the Plesner Committee, in an apparent effort to make it possible to recruit young Arabs to national service.

Netanyahu told them that despite the Plesner Committee’s recommendation not to take action against Arab draft dodgers, he still believes in the idea of “enlistment for all.”

“The world has changed, the country has changed and the situation Is not what it was in the past,” Netanyahu told the two. “Everyone should share the burden.”

Netanyahu said that the Arab MKs should not “build up hopes” after the Committee’s decision, and that the possibility of a conscripting Arabs to do national service “is still being discussed.”

The Plesner Committee’s announcement that it would not recommend sanctions against Arabs who do not enlist caused Yisrael Beytenu and the Jewish Home to announce they were pulling out of the Plesner Committee. Netanyahu’s statement to the Arab MKs can be seen as evidence that he essentially agrees with the Jewish Home and Yisrael Beytenu’s disappointment with the Plesner Committee’s laxness regarding Arabs.

5. MK: NO AFFIRMATIVE ACTION WITHOUT ARAB SERVICE by Maayana Miskin

MK Michael Ben-Ari (Ichud Leumi) has called for an Arab Israeli affirmative action initiative to be put on hold over Arabs” refusal to perform military or national service.

Ben-Ari sent a letter to Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin asking him to shut down the Committee on the Integration of Arab Employees in the Public Sector. The committee is headed by MK Ahmed Tibi.

“Those who ask for equal rights need to understand that they have equal obligations,” he argued. “Someone like Ahmed Tibi, who yells whenever he gets the chance about how much discrimination there is, and how Arabs are not part of the state – cannot be unready to also take part in the obligations.”

Tibi “vigorously opposes national service for the Arab public,” Ben-Ari noted.

“Tibi”s behavior, besides being two-faced and immoral, is also illegal,” he continued. “Tibi has become someone who encourages an entire sector of society to be parasitic.”

If the committee on Arab integration is to continue operating, Tibi should be replaced with “a citizen who recognizes the fact that the Arab community has obligations and not just rights,” Ben-Ari suggested.

Tibi has also faced opposition from Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who has accused him of intentionally impeding Arab integration and has called on MKs not to cooperate with the committee he heads.

6. TIBI: RAMON IN TAIBE IN EXCHANGE FOR ARAFAT IN NETANYA by Elad Benari

MK Ahmed Tibi said on Thursday that he would agree to name a new aerospace center in the Israeli-Arab city of Taibe after Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon, if the city of Netanya agrees to name its city hall after former Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat.

Speaking in an interview with the Ma’ariv newspaper”s local edition for the Sharon area, Tibi said, “The final chapter in Ramon”s life was great and his death is tragic. I have great empathy towards the family and I understand their pain. However, I was surprised to receive an invitation to the inauguration of the aerospace center which dictates that it will be named after Ramon.”

“To tell the truth, even the aerospace center in Taibe was surprised and did not like the idea,” added Tibi, who repeated his reasoning for not naming the center after Ramon. “When you commemorate someone you commemorate his entire life, and for most of his life Ramon was a fighter pilot who participated in the Lebanon war and bombed there. His shelling killed civilians. This a sore point for us, and we asked that our feelings be considered.”

Asked whether the Israeli government, which allocated some funds for the aerospace center, has a right to determine in whose name it will be called, Tibi replied, “No. I stand by the principle that we should never accept that it be dictated who will be perpetuated in exchange for the transfer of funds by the Israeli government. It is our privilege. Why stop there? Maybe the Ministry of Education will say: We”ll pay you six million shekels, and maybe you can name a school after [Menachem] Begin.”

“Some will say: Begin signed an agreement with Egypt. So I say, even Arafat has a Nobel Prize, and Israelis called him a terrorist until they signed an agreement with him, and then rubbed elbows with him after he won the Nobel Prize. How about naming Netanya”s city hall after Arafat in exchange for 150 thousand shekels?”

The Netanya municipality said in response, “We have clear procedures regarding municipal commemoration, and any person who is interested can contact the names committee and his application will be reviewed. As for what was said in the article, we see no need to respond.”

7. HAMAS CONCERNED OVER UNILATERAL ISRAELI DISENGAGEMENT by Elad Benari

Hamas said on Thursday that it is concerned over the possibility that Israel would unilaterally withdraw from Judea and Samaria (Yehuda and Shomron), as it did in Gaza in 2005.

Speaking to the Egyptian-based Al-Ahram newspaper, deputy Hamas leader Moussa Abu Marzouk called on Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to abandon negotiations with Israel, and expressed concern that if Abbas continues with his current policy, Israel would withdraw from Judea and Samaria.

Such a move by Israel, explained Abu Marzouk, would leave two separate “Palestinian” areas that are completely detached from one another and would also isolate Jerusalem.

“This is a dangerous scenario,” Abu Marzouk said, noting that “the Arab preoccupation with internal matters gives Israel a chance to establish facts on the ground as it wishes.”

Defense Minister Ehud Barak suggested last month that Israel consider a unilateral disengagement from Judea and Samaria.

“If it is impossible to reach an agreement with the Palestinian [Authority Arabs], we should consider an interim arrangement, or even a unilateral disengagement,” Barak said in a speech to the annual conference of the Institute for National Security Studies.

The PA rejected Barak”s suggestion, saying such a proposal would not lead to lasting peace agreement, but would only harm the two-state solution.

Abu Marzouk also told Al-Ahram that the Hamas leadership does not see Israel as a military threat to its rule in Gaza, and also rejected the possibility that Israel may launch a ground operation in Gaza or conduct military operations in the Sinai Peninsula to remove the threat of the terrorist groups operating there.

“Israel will not dare to violate Egyptian sovereignty in any way, particularly under the present circumstances,” he said, adding, “Israel will think a thousand times before taking action against Egypt.”

Referring to Gaza, Abu Marzouk said he believed the current situation – where Israel periodically strikes in Gaza in retaliation for rocket attacks – may go on for years.

He tried to shake off responsibility for Hamas” role in allowing Gaza-based organizations to carry out terror attacks against Israel from the Sinai Peninsula, saying, “Hamas policy supports maintaining Egyptian security and non-infringement of Egyptian sovereignty in any way. Agreements exists which are enough to settle this matter with Egypt and we are cooperating fully to achieve this. However, such incidents (terror attacks) make it difficult for both parties – Egypt and Gaza – to maintain security, since it is impossible to maintain security 100 percent. Such incidents happen from time to time, and they conflict with the interests of Hamas and Egypt.”

Abu Marzouk added, “Hamas’ position is clear, and that is that no exit from Gaza which is contrary to the agreements with Egypt should be permitted, and unfortunately this happens sometimes, and we are talking about incidents which take place far from the border and which are difficult to thwart by both sides.”

8. HERSHKOWITZ: TORAH DEMANDS THAT WE JOIN THE ARMY by Elad Benari & Yoni Kempinski

Science and Technology Minister Daniel Hershkowitz, chairman of the Jewish Home party, visited the “suckers tent” in Tel Aviv on Thursday. During his visit, Hershkowitz said that his party is committed to implementing equal service for all sectors of Israeli society.

The “suckers tent” is made up of individuals who were opposed to extending the Tal Law, which regulated the exemption of hareidi soldiers from enlisting in the IDF, and attempted a gradual increase of hareidi army service.

The Tal Law was annulled by the Supreme Court after the judges, under former Court President Dorit Beinisch, struck it down as unconstitutional. A committee, headed by MK Yohanan Plesner (Kadima), has been charged with coming up with a new formula for conscripting hareidim into the military.

The Plesner Committee clarified Thursday that while it favors the principle of “service for all,” it will not recommend slapping any sanctions on Arabs who refuse to enlist, but will recommend punishing hareidim who evade service. In response, Hershkowitz”s party said it will leave the committee. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman”s Yisrael Beytenu party said it would do the same and advance its own bill stipulating equal service for all citizens.

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Hershkowitz emphasized in a conversation with Arutz Sheva that studying Torah is important for hareidim, but that serving the country is equally important.

“My message here is very clear: There is no contradiction whatsoever between studying Torah, which is the most important value in Jewish life, and serving the army and building the country,” he said. “In fact, the Torah commands that once you enter the land, you have to start working. You have to start planting, you have to fight.”

He reiterated that “fighting for the very existence of the Jewish people in the land of Israel – is a mitzvah. It”s not an optional thing. So there is no contradiction whatsoever and that”s why my great-grandfather, as a rabbi, asked to be drafted to the army at the age of 80 when the State of Israel was established. That”s why my father and my mother fought during the War of Independence. That”s why I served in the army, as did all my sons. My youngest one was just drafted yesterday.”

Hershkowitz told the occupants of the “suckers tent” that the Jewish Home party “will not let the Plesner Committee do a sloppy job on the issue of hareidi enlistment. The Jewish Home will not take part in sweeping the issue under the table. I demand equal burden for everyone. ”

He added, “I’m speaking here on behalf of the public which carries the major burden. The percentage of people from the national-religious sector who serve in combat units is the highest. The national-religious public is proof that you can combine the Torah world with serving the army and the State, and what we demand of ourselves we demand from others.”

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