Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin (Likud) on Tuesday called on the government to
sign an agreement with Migron settlers that would prevent the demolition of
their West Bank outpost next month.
“This agreement is not a mirage...
The government should sign it,” Rivlin told Likud activists and Migron residents
who held a joint meeting at the Psagot winery.
An unofficial agreement
was reached earlier this month to relocate the outpost some 2 kilometers away
from its present location, to an area of the same hilltop located next to
But Migron residents have yet to receive a formal agreement to
that effect from the government.
The High Court of Justice has ordered
the state to demolish the outpost, which is home to 50 families, by the end of
The court ruled that the homes were built without proper
authorization, on land classified by the state as belonging to private
Minister-without-Portfolio Bennie Begin (Likud) mediated
the agreement to prevent that demolition. But to implement it, the state must
ask the court to cancel its demolition order.
The state has not yet
turned to the court, veteran Migron resident Itai Harrel told The Jerusalem Post
on Tuesday. “We would need to sign that request before it is made. We have not
been given any document to sign,” he said.
On Tuesday evening, Migron
residents asked Likud activists and parliamentarians at the meeting to sign a
petition in support of their outpost.
Rivlin told the Migron residents
that he knew they were worried about their future.
“There is no legal or
moral justification to evacuate Migron,” he said.
Still, Rivlin said he
supported the compromise Begin had crafted. It allowed the settlers and their
supporters to remain faithful to both their principles and the law, the Knesset
Rivlin added that he was certain that the
Attorney-General’s Office would submit the compromise to the court, and that the
justices would accept it.
MK Ayoub Kara (Likud) said that communities
like Migron were essential to the country’s security.
“What is good for
Migron is good for me and is good for Israel,” the Druse lawmaker said. “Without
Jews, there will be no democracy in this region. Therefore it is important for
Israel to be Jewish and democratic.”
MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) warned the
activists and Migron residents that the battle for outposts like Migron was
really about the fight for continued Israeli sovereignty over Judea and
“Let there be no misunderstanding: This is a political battle,
not a legal one,” she said.
Such outposts needed to be authorized and
recognized as legal Israeli communities, Hotovely said.
On January 30,
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu created an “outpost committee” charged with
examining land status in Judea and Samaria.
Migron residents have long
said that the property on which their homes were constructed could be
reclassified as state land.
Peace Now, which petitioned the state against
Migron on behalf of Palestinians claiming the land, has insisted that this would
be tantamount to theft.
Peace Now executive director Yariv Oppenheimer
said on Monday it was now an issue of the rule of law. The Migron compromise
would undermine the authority of the High Court, Oppenheimer said.
part of their ongoing campaign, Migron residents hired media strategist Roni
Rimon, who works in the office of Rimon, Cohen, Sheinkman.
Tuesday, outside the Kiryat Arba settlement, activists and settlers gathered to
rebuild the fledgling Mitzpe Avihai outpost, which was destroyed by security
forces on January 12. Nine families had lived in temporary structures at the