Migron residents called on their supporters Wednesday to protest the same day
High Court of Justice ruling that all 50 families in the West Bank outpost
evacuate their homes no later than September 4.
The court’s decision
appears to mark the end of Migron residents’ long legal battle to retain their
It was issued in the evening, as the sun set over the small
outpost in the Binyamin region of the West Bank. Men were reciting the evening
prayer in the synagogue and a few small children played in the adjacent parking
Four Migron residents and Binyamin Regional Council head Avi Ro’eh
held a brief press conference in the community’s small kindergarten classroom,
decorated for the start of school with the words, “A sweet
They sat behind a folding table, set up for the event, next
to a shelf of games.
“We are calling on every Israeli citizen to protest
the injustice that was done here.
It does not matter if they are left- or
right-wing,” said Migron resident Shuki Sat.
But residents who spoke at
the press conference did not clarify what they meant by the word
Nor would they commit to leaving of their own volition, as
mandated by the court. In a document submitted to the court earlier this week,
in advance of the judgement, they stated that they had no intention of acting
Migron resident Itai Chemo said that no decision had been
taken with respect to leaving their homes.
As of press time, Migron
residents along with Ro’eh were holding a closed meeting in their synagogue to
debate their next step.
The Defense Ministry told the media they were
ready to help the residents relocate to a site that has been prepared for them,
two kilometers away near the Psagot winery.
Weinstein issued a plea to Migron residents and their leaders to refrain from
inflammatory actions and to act responsibly by respecting the rule of law.
Weinstein called on the Migron families to relocate peacefully, adding that he
understood the court’s decision was not an easy one for Migron
At the press conference, Sat said, “This is a black day for
Israeli democracy. It is a day when the government has trampled on the basic
rights of its citizens and has betrayed the principles of its party, the Likud,
and its land.”
“The prime minister has now joined some of his
predecessors who raised a hand against the settlement enterprise.
certain that his voters will even the score,” Sat said.
will continue to settle the land, and on this hilltop in the future, two
settlements will exist, he said.
Behind him, a large sign hung on the
wall, which said, “This will end with two settlements, an upper and a lower
Migron resident Itai Harel added, “We will persevere, like
The High Court of Justice had ordered the outpost’s demolition in
the summer of 2011 because it was built without permits on land classified by
the state as belonging to private Palestinians.
Last month, Migron
residents petitioned the court to allow 17 of the families to remain there,
claiming that they had purchased the three plots of land on which their homes
stood from the Palestinian owners.
On Wednesday, however, the court
rejected their petition.
But it did agree to allow the buildings on lot
10 to remain for 90 days, to allow time to investigate the validity of the
The court, however, said that the families must leave
because it agreed with the state’s opinion that there was no legal possibility
for Israelis to live on that lot of land, without infringing on the rights of
Palestinians who owned the abutting lots.
Earlier this week, the families
also petitioned the court to delay the evacuation until such time as their new
modular housing site was fully completed.
On Wednesday the court rejected
that petition and ordered the families to leave.
It added that all the
buildings in the outpost, except for those on lot 10, must be taken down no later than September
According to the World Zionist Organization, the homes near the
Psagot winery are ready for Migron families, but work is still being done on the
public buildings and security features such as guardrails. The Binyamin Regional
Council, under whose auspices Migron and the new site are located, however, has
argued that the site will not be completed for another month.
to the 2005 Talia Sasson report on West Bank outposts, Migron was built in May
2001 with NIS 4.3 million from the Construction and Housing Ministry.
2006, Peace Now petitioned the High Court of Justice on behalf of the
Peace Now executive director Yariv Oppenheimer
said that the ruling was a victory for the rule of law and order, and a
statement against the system of building illegal outposts in the
“It transforms Migron from a symbol of defiance and anarchy
into a symbol of respect for the court and the legal system,” Oppenheimer
“This judgement should be a bright light for Israeli society that
proves that the settlers are not above the law,” he said.
views this judgment as an important achievement for all those who believe in a
two-state solution and democratic rule,” Oppenheimer said.
Science and Technology Minister Daniel Herskowitz (Habayit Hayehudi) who is also
a member of the Ministerial Committee on Settlements, said that Peace Now’s
victory was an empty one.
Building will continue in Judea and Samaria,
and specific Migron families can build permanent authorized homes near Psagot to
replace their modular ones, he said.
MK Zevulun Orlev (Habayit Hayehudi)
blamed the court’s verdict on Netanyahu’s failure to support his legislation to
authorize West Bank outposts.
National Union head MK Ya’acov Katz
attacked the Likud, saying “All those who love the Land of Israel understand now
that the Likud government headed by [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu freezes
settlements and supports the principle of two states,” and is responsible for
erasing a Jewish community, he said.
MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) who came
to Migron briefly, said that the court had become a contractor for Peace Now and
was executing its policy.
“It seems that property rights exist for Arab
and not for Jews,”