Events in Bet El

I was going to write an article about the events today in the settlement of Bet El, but just ran out of steam, and am too far behind on the projects that actually pay the rent.  However, in talking to friends tonight I realized that people do not really know what the story is.  So I will spend five minutes- with just the facts- analysis will wait for tomorrow or Friday.

Bet El is a settlement in the West Bank, known to be one of main line non extreme settlements.  8,000 people live there.  A few years ago a contractor decided to build two large apartment buildings on land that he did not own,  without permission.  Neighbors whose views his buildings were about to  block complained.  The state went to court demanding that the buildings be demolished since they had not been approved, and were on Palestinian private land.  Twice the Supreme Court ordered the building destroyed, the final time with a deadline of July 30th.  Two nights ago the army seized the site and awaited an expected decision of the Supreme Court.  The state had gone back to the court and said the building was now legal, explaining that even though it was on private Palestinian land, it was seized before a historic Supreme Court decision that said private Palestinian land could only be taken for Defense purposes, therefore the seizure was legal.  It therefore asked that while the state appealed the decision that their be a temporary hold on the order to destroy the buildings.  Meanwhile the soldiers who had come to the settlement were met with stones, piss bombs and more.  Finally this morning the Supreme Court ruled that the demolition had to go on, nothing changed and there  is such a thing as a final decision- a final decision by the court said that the houses ( which were unfinished ) had to be destroyed.

The Ministry of Defense ordered them destroyed, and young settlers tried to stop the army from going about the task.  Meanwhile member of the Bayit Yehudi demanded that Netanyahu announce new buildings plans, which he promptly did by recycling an old announcement.  The situation reached a higher pitch when MK Yogev from the Bayit Hayed called for the physical destruction of the Supreme Court, he later clarified that he was only speaking metaphorically.  As of tonight the buildings have been destroyed but the consequences of the action are still unclear- and I will try to explore them in an article tomorrow


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