Migron outpost residents on Monday urged Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to
personally intervene in the deadlocked negotiations with the government to
prevent the court-ordered destruction of their West Bank community by the end of
“Do not needlessly demolish our homes,” Migron spokesman Itai
Chemo said, during a demonstration held near Netanyahu’s office in the
Throughout the day, settlers, politicians and the government’s
negotiator in the talks, Minister-without-Portfolio Bennie Begin (Likud),
publicized details of the impasse through the media.
An Israeli official
told The Jerusalem Post
that Netanyahu had full confidence in Begin, his
representative in this matter.
In August, the High Court of Justice ruled
that the homes in Migron, most of which are modular, were built without the
necessary permits on land classified by the state as belonging to
In an effort to avert a forced demolition of the outpost,
the state through Begin has in recent months looked to find a compromise with
At a press conference in the Prime Minister’s Office on
Monday, Begin read from the text of the government’s proposal, which asked
Migron residents to relocate their outpost to state land 2 km. away.
hope Migron residents will agree, even in the next few hours, to turn with us to
the courts, so we can resolve this in a peaceful manner,” he said.
an agreement is reached, the state will ask the court to give the settlers until
November 30, 2015, to build new homes on state land, on another part of the same
hilltop where they are now located, Begin said.
He warned that the
topography in that part of the hilltop, near the Psagot winery, was “not easy,”
and that building preparations and securing permits would take
Migron residents would pay for the construction of their homes,
Meanwhile, they are barred from constructing new buildings
in their present location, he said.
After November 30, 2015, the land on
which Migron is now located will revert to the control of the Civil
Administration of Judea and Samaria, which will raze the homes.
then consider using the land for civilian, non-residential purposes, Begin
All 48 families in Migron must sign a letter stating that they
accept the agreement, the Likud minister said. Only then can the state turn to
the court and ask that it rescind its demolition ruling, in favor of the
Avi Ro’eh, chairman of the Binyamin Regional Council, told the
Post that “Migron residents want to sign a deal with the government.” But the
document Begin presented to the residents differed from the oral agreement he
had reached with them, said Ro’eh. (Migron is located within his council’s
jurisdiction.) “Begin has reneged on his promises to Migron residents,” Ro’eh
Settler leader Dani Dayan urged both sides to sign an
“We encourage both the residents of Migron and Begin to reach
an agreement as soon as possible, and that will prevent the demolition of the
homes,” said Dayan, who heads the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea,
Samaria and the Gaza Strip.
But Ro’eh said that Migron residents wanted
the state to wait for the status of the land to be adjudicated in a local land
court, before demolishing their homes.
Migron residents say the status of
their land has never properly been adjudicated.
They are hoping that a
Jerusalem land court will reclassify the property.
Ro’eh said the
residents want the state to promise to only demolish the outpost homes if the
land court upholds the classification of the land as belonging to private
If the court determines that the outpost is located on
state land, why should the state demolish the structures? Ro’eh
Outside the Knesset, Chemo said, “Just a few words divide us from
MK Danny Danon (Likud) said that he planned to
personally appeal to Netanyahu late on Monday night.
“Begin gave up. We
cannot leave it like this. The demolition of Migron could destabilize the
coalition,” Danon warned.
In the Knesset plenum, MK Zehava Gal- On
(Meretz) said that Migron residents were no better than “pirates” or “bandits”
who had stolen Palestinian land. “I do not know any normal country that would
make an agreement with such bank robbers,” she said.
“gave the settlers a finger and now they want to take the whole hand,” she said.
The same army that is contemplating attacking Iran should not be afraid of a
confrontation with the settlers, Gal-On said.
Begin defended the actions
of the settlers.
He said that although it had been a mistake to build
Migron in its present location, its residents should not be held accountable for
“Migron residents moved there convinced, albeit falsely, that
the government supported them,” Begin said.
He added that he felt that he
felt responsible for the actions of this government and past ones with respect
“We can not ignore the situation. We need to find the right
way, through a compromise, to make it easier for them [Migron residents], to do
what they need to,” Begin said.
But Peace Now’s executive director Yariv
Oppenheimer posted a YouTube video in which he appealed to Migron residents to
abide by the initial court ruling and voluntarily evacuate the outpost by the
end of March.
“This is your moment to decide if you respect the state’s
institutions even when you disagree with them,” he said. “Are you part of the
state or against it?” he asked.
On Tuesday, Peace Now and Meretz plan to
hold a conference in the Knesset on Migron.
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.