Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday called on Migron residents to stave
off a forced demolition and accept a compromise by which their outpost would be
relocated to a nearby location.
Rivlin: Knesset will legalize Migron if gov't doesn't
“This is a good proposal,” Netanyahu said
at the weekly cabinet meeting. “It does not solve all of the problems, but it
does resolve the problem of Migron.”
In a statement put out after the
meeting, his office said permanent homes for the Migron families “will be built
near the current site, on state lands.”
The Prime Minister’s Office said
the land where Migron now stands would be handed to the Civil
“The government calls on the residents of Migron to agree
to the compromise and thus allow the government to soon request that the [High]
Court [of Justice] approve the arrangement,” the Prime Minister’s Office
Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein said
the likely relocation spot was an area of state land on the same hilltop, near
the Psagot winery and visitors’ center.
This summer, the High Court of
Justice ordered the state to demolish the outpost by the end of March. The
outpost, located on a hilltop in the Binyamin region just outside of Jerusalem,
is home to 50 families.
Many Likud politicians, including Knesset Speaker
Reuven Rivlin, have called on the government to authorize the outpost, which
according to the state is located on private Palestinian
Minister-without-Portfolio Bennie Begin (Likud) spoke with
Migron residents in the last weeks and offered them the government’s
Migron spokesman Itai Chemo said that while Begin had been
nice, the conversation had not been a true debate, but was rather the presentation of this
He called on the prime minister or his staff to sit down with the
Migron residents to discuss the matter rather than unilaterally presenting them
with an option.
“Only a brave dialogue around one table will lead to the
right solution,” he said.
For some time, he added, the Migron residents
have offered a wide range of solutions.
Netanyahu’s offer of a compromise
marks the second attempt to relocate the Migron outpost.
In 2008, the
Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip stopped the
pending demolition of Migron by reaching a compromise with the state to relocate
the outpost to the nearby Geva Binyamin settlement within two years.
Migron residents refused to accept this compromise and the state never presented
the residents with finished homes in Geva Binyamin, known as Adam.
Sunday, attorney Michael Sfard who, on behalf of Peace Now represents the
Palestinians who claim ownership of Migron, attacked the government’s
“It is a recycling of the offer that was already given to
move the [Migron settlers] to Adam,” Sfard said.
He noted that according
to the High Court of Justice ruling on Migron this summer, the judges were clear
that the Migron outpost should be taken down, irrespective of any place to
relocate the families.
The court has ruled that the families cannot stay
in Migron past March, he said.
According to the court, Sfard added, “the
Palestinian land is not hostage to a reconciliation plan.”
alternative to Migron will take years,” he said. “In the Middle East
whoever promises to do something in two or three years, promises
But Edelstein said he hoped the government would reach an
acceptable solution with the Migron settlers that would prevent a forced
“I hope and pray there will be compromise,” he said.
forced demolition of Migron would be very damaging to the settlement movement
and to Israeli society, he said. In addition, he said “it will be a political
disaster for the Likud.”
The Knesset Land for Israel lobby called on the
government to bring to a vote the legislative initiatives to legalize the
outposts, including Migron.
The Knesset Public Petitions Committee plans
to discuss on Monday the possibility of compensating Migron residents before
outpost homes are dismantled.
Committee Chairman MK David Azoulay (Shas)
plans to investigate which government authorities are meant to pay damages to
the outpost residents, in hopes of minimizing any unnecessary suffering, he said
Sunday.Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.