Migron outpost aerial_311.
(photo credit: Baz Ratner / Reuters)
France on Friday condemned a relocation agreement between the government and settlers in the West Bank outpost of Migron, saying the deal "sets an unacceptable precedent."
"This agreement, which claims to 'legalize' an illegal fait accompli, sets an unacceptable precedent," said a French Foreign Ministry statement, adding that the move complicates the resumption of the political process.
On Sunday, the fifty Migron families signed the deal to move their outpost, which the high court had ordered dismantled, two kilometers from its current location. As part of the agreement, the government will authorize nearby state land for construction of permanent homes,
"While Israel had pledged, under the road map, to dismantle all outposts, this decision sends a negative signal that runs contrary to the willingness expressed by Israel to reach a two-State solution," the statement said.
The government on Wednesday asked the High Court of Justice to cancel its order to
evacuate Migron by the end of the month, asking the court for an extension to allow all 50 Migron families time to build
permanent homes on 70 dunams (7 hectares) of state land 2 kilometers away by
November 30, 2015.
Right-wing politicians and settler leaders hailed the
request as a worthy compromise that respected the rule of law.
activists and politicians said it subverted the rule of law and broke Israel’s
pledge to the international community not to expand the boundaries of existing
The proposed new Migron site is under the auspices of the
Binyamin Regional Council but it does not belong to any settlement. Fifty of its
70 dunams are now zoned for commercial use.
The only structure is a
visitor center for the Psagot Winery that includes a parking lot.
50 dunams plus another 20 will now be rezoned for residential use.
part of the relocation plan, the state intends to expand the boundaries of the
nearby Kochav Ya’acov settlement to include the 70 dunams.
is located 300 meters away from the commercial area as the crow flies. The
settlement and the new Migron site are separated by a 1.5-kilometer-long
The state noted that experts had said the new site’s topography
could make construction difficult. But it added that this hardship could be
Once the Migron families have moved, the former site of their
outpost will be under the auspices of the Civil Administration of Judea and
The state turned to the court after months of negotiations with
the Migron settlers, led by Minister-without-Portfolio Bennie Begin, to prevent
a forced evacuation of the outpost.
In August, the High Court issued a binding order to evacuate the outpost, saying it was built without the proper
permits on private Palestinian property.
The court is expected to hold a
hearing on the matter before it issues a decision.Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.