(photo credit: Courtesy)
One hundred thirty national-religious rabbis sent a letter to Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch on Thursday calling on her to cancel the court’s decision to destroy homes in the Migron outpost.
Among the signatories were senior national-religious figures including Rabbi Haim Druckman, head of the Bnei Akiva youth movement and dean of Ohr Etzion yeshiva, Tzohar chairman Rabbi David Stav, Safed Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu and Ramat Gan Chief Rabbi Yaakov Ariel.
“It is accepted in all legal systems that when a person builds on land which he doesn’t own but without any malicious intent, and certainly when there are doubts about the ownership of the land, that his house is not destroyed and years of labor and money wasted,” the letter reads. “Rather, a humane system, seeking justice, determines compensation and payment for the previous land owners.”
In August, the High Court of Justice ordered the state to raze the outpost by the end of March 2012, in response to a petition by Peace Now, because it was constructed without the proper permits, on land that the state has classified as belonging to private Palestinians, as opposed to state-owned land.
Migron residents say that the land’s status has never properly been adjudicated.
They contend that it can be reclassified as state land under the laws of abandoned property and that some of the lots were bought from Palestinians.
The outpost is on a hilltop in the Binyamin region just outside Jerusalem, and is home to some 50 families.
According to the rabbis’ letter, the demand to destroy dozens of homes in Judea and Samaria at this time is “inhumane and unjust” and “undermines public trust in the public prosecution and judicial systems.”
The letter called upon Beinisch to allow for compensation to be paid to any landowners instead of destroying the homes. The Supreme Court has ruled that the unauthorized outpost of Migron must be evacuated by the end of March.Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.