All fifty Migron families on Sunday night signed a longanticipated deal to move
their small West Bank outpost two kilometers away from its present
The state will ask the High Court of Justice to nullify its
order to demolish the outpost by the end of March.
around a small folding table, as Shuki Sat, a 12-year Migron veteran and father
of six, sat down and picked up a pen.
He wrote his name and details on a
single sheet of white paper.
“My heart is heavy,” Sat said.
injustice has been done.”
In a statement to the media released earlier in
the day, Migron settlers said they had placed their faith in the government and
its representative who had negotiated the deal, Minister-without-Portfolio
Bennie Begin (Likud).
“This agreement will prevent a civil war, and that
is the reason the government has chosen to present it to the High Court,” the
According to the court, Migron was constructed without
proper permits on land that the state has classified as belonging to private
The outpost is located in the Binyamin region of the West
Bank, just outside of Jerusalem.
Under the terms of the agreement, the
government will authorize nearby state land for construction of permanent homes.
Migron settlers have until November 30, 2015, to build new homes in an area of
their hilltop near the Psagot Winery.
The land on which Migron is now
located will then be handed over to the Civil Administration, which has agreed
to consider using the site for a public civic project.
It remains unclear
if the state will remove the caravans and the few permanent structures from the
site once the settlers leave the area in November 2015.
residents nor the state showed the text of the agreement to the
Peace Now executive director Yariv Oppenheimer called on the court
to reject the agreement.
“It makes a fool of the court.
have some hope that the Supreme Court will keep its dignity and will reject it,” he said.
He charged that in authorizing new
homes on the same hilltop, the state had created its first new West Bank
settlement in over a decade – a move that ran counter to Israeli pledges to the
international community not to approve new settlements.
he believed the agreement lacked a clear statement saying that the Migron homes
would be evacuated.
What will happen instead is that there will be a new
settlement and an outpost on the same hilltop, Oppenheimer warned.
founder Itai Harrel said that residents of his community had been very careful
about the language of the deal they signed.
“We agreed to relocate,” he
said. But he added that the residents hold fast to their belief that the outpost
land did not belong to Palestinians and could be reclassified as state
“This is a crazy situation, akin to that of the emperor with no
clothes,” he said.
Migron residents have long argued that the fate of
their outpost should be determined only after a local land court has adjudicated
the land status.
They point to the fact that, according to a government
report compiled by attorney Talia Sasson in 2005, Migron was built in May 2001
with NIS 4.3 million from the Construction and Housing Ministry.
state sent us here,” said Migron resident Efrat Sheetrit, a mother of four,
whose oldest son Ori, now nine, was only one month old when the family
Although she will eventually be able to exchange her caravan
home for a permanent structure, she said the idea of relocating the outpost is
“There is no cake. We did not open champagne bottles,” she
Harrel paused when asked about the fate of his home, one of the few
permanent structures on the outpost.
“I hope that it won’t happen, but I
understand that it is very likely it could be destroyed,” he said.