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'Temporary Migron homes can be built in 4 months'
By TOVAH LAZAROFF
03/26/2012
Begin, who negotiated with settlers, says outpost could grow to 200 units at new location.
 
Temporary homes can be built for all 50 Migron outpost families within four months, at the new location for their community near the Psagot Winery, Construction and Housing Minister Ariel Attias said on Monday.

“We can work under emergency procedures, as we did after the [December 2010] Carmel fire to create a temporary solution for the Beit Oren community,” he said.

His spokesman clarified that the ministry had not been asked to prepare such a solution, but that it could.

Attias spoke one day after the High Court of Justice ordered the state to evacuate the West Bank Migron outpost by August 1 from its present location on land classified as belonging to private Palestinians.

The court rejected a petition by the state to evacuate the outpost by November 30, 2015, so as to allow time to build new homes for Migron residents on state land 2 kilometers away, near the winery.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has said he would abide by the court’s new time table. On Monday evening, he met with Minister- without-Portfolio Bennie Begin to discuss options for the Migron residents until their new homes could be built for them by the winery.

Begin had negotiated the relocation deal with Migron residents (with the 2015 deadline) and is considered the prime minister’s representative in this matter.

Right-wing lawmakers, however, continued to argue that the best solution was to pass legislation that legalized existing Jewish buildings situated on private Palestinian property in Judea and Samaria. Such a law would provide compensation for the Palestinian property owners.

Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein said he supported such a law.

He and other lawmakers are concerned with the larger issues, particularly given that the state had promised the High Court that it would evacuate other such outposts, including Ulpana, Givat Assaf and Amona.

Peace Now said that if the Knesset approved such a law, it would petition the High Court to overturn the legislation, which it claimed would sanction land theft for settlement construction.

In an interview with Army Radio, Begin said that he opposed a legislative attempt to authorize Jewish building on private Palestinian property.

It would not succeed, he said.

“It would become a stain on the settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria,” he said. Such legislation would be the equivalent of an open declaration that “we are robber of private land belonging to Arabs in Judea and Samaria.”

Begin added, that “this is nonsense. It will never happen. It is a mistake to hang onto any hope of this kind of solution.”

The government made a good agreement with the Migron residents, he said.

“We did the best we could, everyone knows this, not to make it too difficult for them,” Begin said.

The government and the Migron residents petitioned the court together and both parties must now accept the justices’ decision, “whether it is convenient or less convenient,” he said.

Begin took a positive approach to Sunday’s court ruling, noting that the the justices had dealt with the time table, but not the other aspects of the offer to provide Migron residents with authorized, permanent homes. The rest of the deal still stood, he said.

The deal gave the small community, which until now had no options, the ability to relocate to a new neighborhood that could flourish and grow to 200 families, he said.

It was important to focus on this final goal of rooting Jews in the Binyamin region, not far from Jerusalem.

“I am sure that the Migron residents who have gone along with, will agree to this program,” Begin said.

He predicted that “we will be together in a cornerstone laying ceremony for this neighborhood.

Migron residents, however, have not agreed to relocate under the new timetable.

At a press conference on Monday morning, residents said that it was the state that had sent them to construct the outpost. They further said that the Palestinians who had petitioned against the outpost with the help of Peace Now, had only claimed ownership over land on which seven out of 50 structures stand.

“Even regarding this quarter of the community, they have never presented a document that shows the land is theirs,” Migron resident Haim Teitelbaum said.

“The court has determined that the state can send its residents on Zionist missions without taking responsibility for its results,” he said.

“The agreement [to relocate] does not exist anymore,” Teitelbaum said. “We will not be partners any more to these kind of agreements, we won’t be partners to the destruction of the place.

“We sought justice and we still seek justice,” he said. “We are asking the prime minister to ensure that justice is done. The ball is in his hands.

Teitelbaum added that he did not believe that after 2005’s Gaza disengagement, parliamentarians would be party to the destruction of another Jewish community
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