Gov’t: Migron relocation offer still stands (JERUSALEM POST) By TOVAH LAZAROFF 03/26/12)
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The government moved quickly on Sunday night to stand behind both the
legal system and settlers after the High Court of Justice ordered the
state to evacuate the Migron outpost in the West Bank by August 1.
“The government of Israel, like all citizens of Israel, respects the
court’s decisions and acts according to Israeli law,” Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu said.
“Sometimes even the obvious needs to be stated,” he said.
An official added, however, that the only thing that had changed with
respect to Migron was the timetable.
The uproar created by the court’s decision against Jewish
construction on private Palestinian property, such as occurred in
Migron, was mitigated by a statement from Minister- without-Portfolio
Bennie Begin in support of new settlement activity on state land.
Begin, who had negotiated a compromise deal with all 50 Migron
families, said that details of the agreement to relocate the outpost
from private Palestinian property to state land 2 km. away remained
“The government will hold to the agreements it included in its
application to the court as prescribed between it and the Migron
residents,” he said. This includes granting them permission to
construct permanent homes by the [Psagot] Winery, he said.
Still, angry right-wing parliamentarians attacked the court decision
and called for the Knesset to hold a special session during the
Passover break to legalize outposts on Palestinian land.
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said he would hold such a session if he
received the necessary signatures from 25 lawmakers.
Migron residents did not say if they intend to stand by their part of
the bargain now that the timetable has changed.
Outpost spokesman Itai Chemo said Sunday’s High Court ruling began
with the false claim that the land on which their homes sit is
privately owned by Palestinians and ended with the demand that those
who seek peace must be evacuated.
“We are confident that the government and its representative Minister
Begin will find a suitable solution to the situation in which the
state sends its loyal citizens to settle [the land] and the court
forces their eviction,” Chemo said.
Peace Now, which initially petitioned the court against the outpost
in 2006, hailed Sunday’s ruling as a victory.
“Today, the Supreme Court sent a clear statement to Migron settlers
and the Israeli government: All groups and people are equal in the
eyes of the law,” Peace Now executive director Yariv Oppenheimer
said. “Now, the citizens of Israel await and hope that the Migron
settlers will keep their promise and comply with the Supreme Court’s
verdict by peacefully evacuating from the illegal outpost.”
He added that he hoped the government would change its mind with
regard to authorizing new Migron homes near the Psagot Winery.
Such construction is tantamount to the creation of a new settlement,
he said, and added that Israel has promised the international
community that it will not build new settlements or extend the
boundaries of existing ones.
The state told the court that the boundary of the nearby Kochav
Ya’acov settlement would be extended to include a 7-hectare (17.3-
acre) site for the Migron homes.
“This is wrong both politically and financially,” Oppenheimer said.
It is a costly decision that makes it more difficult to implement a
two-state solution with the Palestinians, he said.
France and the United Kingdom have already condemned the move.
Opposition leader Tzipi Livni also criticized the creation of a new
community for the Migron residents on the same hilltop, in the
Binyamin region of the West Bank, just outside both Jerusalem and
It is immoral, she said, to move the Migron families to a location
from which they might have to once again be evacuated if a final-
status agreement is reached with the Palestinians.
“A leader must make a decision and not run away from it,” she said.
This government does not want to make the required decision to move
the Migron residents to a place from which they will not be
evacuated, Livni said. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 03/26/12)
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