Settlers at the Migron outpost agreed in principal on Monday to relocate their
community, but the details of the implementation are still under discussion,
according to Binyamin Regional Council head Avi Ro’eh.
and Minister- without-Portfolio Bennie Begin, who negotiated the deal on behalf
of the government, are still negotiating on its language, Ro’eh
Once the document is signed, the state must ask the High Court of
Justice to ratify the arrangement, he added.
There are only six weeks
left before the state must implement an order from the court to demolish the
outpost, which is home to 50 families and is located in the Binyamin region of
the West Bank.
According to the court, the homes were built without the
proper permits on land that the state has classified as belonging to private
Last month, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu offered
Migron residents a compromise by which they could move into authorized permanent
homes that would be built on nearby state land.
He made the offer after
prosettlement politicians within and without the Likud lobbied on the outpost’s
Ro’eh said the new homes would be built within twoand- a-half
years on land next to the Psagot Winery, which is located on the same hilltop as
There is no authorized settlement, as opposed to the unauthorized
Migron outpost, on the hill. If the deal is executed, the government would be
authorizing the first new West Bank settlement in more than a
Such a move would appear to violate Israel’s long-standing
promise to the international community not to build new settlements.
offer comes as the Palestinians are threatening to pursue unilateral statehood
rather than resume the preliminary talks held in Jordan last month. Palestinians
have long said that settlement activity is a stumbling block to reaching an
agreement with Israel.
Migron residents have told the government that
they would accept the compromise if two conditions are met:
First, they asked
that the land on which their homes are now situated remain under Israeli
civilian control. Ro’eh added that it could be used for a school or a
project that would benefit the public.
Second, they want to wait for a
land court to adjudicate the status of their property before relocating. Ro’eh
said, however, that he believed that the relocation would take place regardless
of any ruling by a land court.
At the Likud faction meeting in the
Knesset on Monday, Begin clarified that no deal had yet been finalized with
But parliamentarians had already assumed that the
matter is now settled.
MK Arye Eldad (National Union) and MK Ze’ev Elkin
(Likud) hailed the deal as a great victory against the “anti-Zionist Left” in
Israel, such as Peace Now, which had filed a petition before the High Court
against the outpost.
Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli
Edelstein said, “I congratulate everyone on reaching an agreement. It is much
better than the violent clashes that would have occurred.”
executive director Yariv Oppenheimer slammed Monday's compromise offer by Migron
residents as “outrageous.”
“The government is avoiding fulfilling the
Supreme Court decision. Not only will the outpost not be evacuated on time, it
will not be evacuated at all. And the settlers will gain another settlement in
the heart of the West Bank,” he said.
Meretz head MK Zehava Gal-On called
the deal “rotten” and said it turns the rule of law into a joke.
you don’t conduct negotiations with a bank robber to return some of the money he
stole, you don’t need to conduct negotiations with law-breaking settlers,”
This is not the first agreement reached on Migron.
2008, the state and the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the
Gaza Strip agreed to relocate Migron to the nearby settlement of Geva Binyamin,
also known as Adam.
Migron residents never accepted the compromise, but
their participation in the matter was rendered irrelevant when state bureaucracy
delayed the construction of new homes for them in Geva Binyamin.
was seen as a symbol of the settlers’ struggle to transform the outposts from
unauthorized communities to legal West Bank settlements.
A compromise on
Migron is likely to have an impact on the fate of three other outposts
constructed on private Palestinian property, which the state has promised the
High Court it will demolish this year: Ulpana, Givat Assaf and
Separately, the prime minister has created a three-member panel,
nicknamed the “outpost committee,” to examine land issues in Judea and
On Monday, he and the Justice Ministry approved the three
committee members: former Supreme Court justice Edmund Levy, former Foreign
Ministry legal adviser Alan Baker and former Tel Aviv District Court deputy
president Tchia Shapira.
The committee is due to report to the Prime
Minister’s Office within three months. Its exact mandate has still not
been made public.