The eviction of Uplana, the contested neighborhood in the West Bank settlement of Beit El, began this morning, bringing an end to a tumultuous legal battle over its future.
Defense Ministry bulldozers, movers and contractors arrived at the settlement in the early morning hours to oversee the process.
The High Court-ordered, government-backed eviction will include the relocation of 33 of the neighborhood’s families, 16 of which are to move Tuesday.
Some 100 Defense Ministry officials, divided into teams, paired up with the families, with aim of offering them the logistic assistance necessary. “We are doing everything in our power to ease this difficult process for the families,” a defense source told Ynet.
Defense establishment officials said that the arrangements for the eviction and relocation have been completed. The relocation of all families in expected to be completed by Friday.
Beit El Rabbi Zalman Melamed led a morning tefillah gathering ahead of the eviction: “God willing, there will be an even bigger neighborhood here. We will return to these homes and the land of Israel will be rebuilt,” he told his followers.
Ahead of the relocation, which will see five contested buildings moved several hundred yards away, to Beit El’s military base, the defense establishment had caravillas shuttled to the settlement.
The settlers have pledges a clam eviction, but at least four of the families said they would mount “peaceful resistance” vis-à-vis IDF soldiers and Civil Administion officers who are slated to carry out the eviction.
According to the settlers, Rabbi Melamed – who was instrumental in brokering the settlers’ consent to the move – said that peaceful resistance did not contradict the agreement struck with the government.