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Jewish settlers voluntarily evacuate West Bank enclave

A mover employed by the Israeli Defense Ministry moves belongings out from an apartment as two neighbors emotionally talk after they embraced on the staircase of their nearly empty apartments in the Ulpana neighborhood.Jim Hollander / EPA

Israeli settlers wrapped in a tallit, or prayer shawl, is hugged by a child as he prays in front of houses in the Ulpana neighborhood of Beit El settlement.Menahem Kahana / AFP - Getty Images

Jewish settlers on Tuesday began moving out of apartment blocs that Israel's Supreme Court ruled had been built illegally on Palestinian-owned land, after reaching an agreement with the government to go quietly.

Sixteen of the 30 families in the contested Ulpana neighborhood of the Beit El settlement were due to leave their homes on Tuesday, and the rest by the end of the week.

The court had ruled that five Ulpana apartment blocs must be torn down by July 1, landing Netanyahu, whose core constituency is pro-settlement, in a political and legal minefield.


A Palestinian worker emerges from a sewer pipe near two Jewish settler homes in a new neighborhood being established on the outskirts of the Beit El settlement.Jim Hollander / EPA

Families evicted from the Ulpana neighborhood move into temporarily housing in the nearby settlement of Beit El on June 26. This is the first day of the evacuation, during which 33 families will be moved several hundred yards to a temporary settlement located inside a military zone.Ilia Yefimovich / Getty Images

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