Large numbers of police officers arrived at the Jewish community of Ramat Arbel in the Lower Galilee on Sunday, in preparation for evacuating its residents.
The potential evictions prompted Yitzhak Wasserlauf, the minister for the development of the periphery, the Negev and the Galilee, to write an urgent letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The member of the Otzma Yehudit Party demanded that Netanyahu “stop the enforcement actions in place.”
Representatives of Ramat Arbel, which is located on privately-owned Jewish land and received Cabinet approval for the establishment of a community there back in 2003, said in response to the government’s move: “It is unacceptable that at a time when the Arabs next to us are building and the danger of a takeover hovers over the entire Galilee, Jews are being evacuated. We are determined to continue holding on to the lands of the Galilee, and as we were promised by the government ministers, we will establish a large Jewish settlement in Ramat Arbel.”
The outpost is located near the predominantly Arab Christian village of Eilabun and west of the Sea of Galilee.
Wasserlauf said that his ministry and the Construction and Housing Ministry are drafting a proposed government decision that would give legal status to Ramat Arbel. He said that he intends to submit the draft for Cabinet approval soon.
The minister questioned why the evacuation order was issued, given the pending regularization of the community’s status and the fact that there are “tens of thousands of illegal structures that are much more problematic in other places.”