Israel to spend NIS 25 million on temporary housing for Migron settlers (HAŽARETZ NEWS) By Chaim Levinson 04/06/12)
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The state is set to spend NIS 25 million to build a temporary housing
site for Migron´s settlers, who have been ordered to leave the West
Bank outpost by August. A team headed by cabinet secretary Zvi Hauser
is due to meet Sunday to find a source for the money from the budget.
The High Court of Justice last month ordered the state to evacuate
the illegal West Bank outpost and dismantle it by August, after
rejecting an agreement between the settlers and state to defer the
evacuation by three years.
The Mateh Binyamin Regional Council yesterday began construction work
on a temporary housing site for the Migron settlers in the Yekev
compound, about two kilometers from the outpost. A permanent
neighborhood for the evacuated settlers is also planned on that site.
The council, under whose jurisdiction Migron falls, permitted the
construction on the basis of an approved plan for a tourist site,
which will now be converted to a housing site.
The temporary site will consist of public structures, 50
prefabricated homes and minimal infrastructure, at at estimated cost
of NIS 500,000 per family, totaling NIS 25 million, an official said.
The state will probably foot the bill, it was learned.
The permanent neighborhood will require more comprehensive
construction work and is expected to cost tens of millions of shekels.
Migron´s settlers are to pay for building the permanent houses
themselves, the official said.
"We decided to establish facts on the ground and, by our power as a
regional council, ordered to prepare the area for mobile homes and
later permanent ones for Migron´s settlers," said council head Avi
The settlers themselves have not decided what they should do. Some of
them say they must not trust the government any more, and there is no
point in reaching understandings with it.
Others say that if the government is willing to build a permanent
site for them on the basis of their agreement, and see what may
legally be preserved in the old outpost, they should move to the
temporary site rather than wait for forcible eviction.
A council official said if the settlers are able to move to the
temporary site by August 1, he believes they will leave Migron
Meanwhile, the state told the High Court yesterday it would not
demolish three structures being built on private Palestinian land in
the Beit El settlement at this time, despite its commitment to do so.
The structures are being built on lands of the Palestinian village
Dura al-Kara in the West Bank. Since the High Court ruling on Elon
Moreh in 1979, building homes on private Palestinian land has been
Following the construction in Beit El, which began some 18 months
ago, the landowners petitioned the court to stop the work. The court
issued a temporary injunction against the construction.
Last April the state undertook to demolish the structures within a
year, unless their status was regulated. The Civil Administration
denied the contractor´s request for building permits.
Yesterday evening, 48 hours before the allotted time for demolition
ends, the State Prosecution told the court that the government needed
more time to make a decision.
"The government was apprised of more facts gathered by the Civil
Administration regarding the construction in Beit El and its security
aspects," prosecuting attorney Hila Gorni said.
She attached to her response a deposition by Col. Ilan Malka, chief
operations officer for the Central Command, saying the IDF wants to
get through Nakba Day (in May ) and then allocate troops for the
The petitioners´ attorney, Michael Sfard, said: "The state´s
announcement is no less than scandalous. Two days before the time to
carry out its commitment to the court expires, it says it intends to
break its word.
"If the breach was for operative reasons, perhaps the petitioners
would have agreed to a short delay. But the state´s announcement
shows the cabinet wants to reopen and reexamine the entire issue." (©
Copyright 2012 Ha´aretz 04/06/12)
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