Israeli settlers quit Ulpana outpost but Palestinians fear no change
Residents of the controversial Ulpana settlement outpost in the West Bank this week began the process of moving their belongings into temporary lodgings, following a deal with the Israeli government.
Ulpana forms part of the Beit El settlement, close to Ramallah, which in a landmark decision by the Israeli supreme court was ruled to be illegally built on privately owned Palestinian land.
The residents of Ulpana agreed to leave peacefully, in exchange for the building of 300 new settler homes in Beit El. These form part of a government agreement to build 851 settler homes in the West Bank.
Mohammed Salah, a resident of the Palestinian village of Beit El told RFI that, despite the Ulpana evacuation, local people expect to see little difference.
“The situation will stay the same…no change will happen,” he said.
But he also spoke of his hopes for future coexistence with Israelis: “We want peace…two states in Palestine. Israeli state and Palestinian state and we want to live together, neighbours, in a good situation…they are our cousins, the Jewish [sic]."