Caravans in Psagot neighborhood 390.
(photo credit: Melanie Lidman)
Approximately half the 50 families evacuated from the Migron outpost on Sunday
moved into the caravans in the Psagot settlement on Wednesday.
Defense Ministry began dismantling and moving the old caravans from
Former migron resident Aviela Deitch said about 25 families were
still in guest houses at the nearby settlement of Ofra, which is where the
residents went immediately after the evacuation.
Twelve of the caravans
in the new Psagot neighborhood are uninhabitable and supposedly being fixed,
though no one is sure when they will be ready. Deitch said the community settled
into a pattern, with each family packing its own things, then lending a hand to
larger families, and finally helping Migron founder Itai Harel dismantle the
stable for his horses. One of his five horses refused to enter the trailer on
Wednesday and Harel was forced to ride it away.
Three days after the
evacuation, the exhaustion among Migron’s former residents is palpable. The
logistics involved in moving an entire community of families, most with young
children, is difficult. But others are worn out from the months of
Even after the drama surrounding the question of whether
Migron would be evacuated dissipated, questions remain. No one is sure where the
children will study since the preschool and kindergarten buildings are not
completed in Psagot, although they have a room in Ofra. The Psagot synagogue is
also unfinished, though there are hopeful rumors that the old synagogue and
concrete mikve in Migron will not be demolished.
Migron evacuee David
Ben-Dov said he was thankful that his three-year-old daughter had not really
grasped what it meant to be evacuated from her home.
“To her, it’s a big
picnic,” he said on Monday in the synagogue at an Ofra guest house. “She’s quite
excited about going to the new house. I think it will take her time to
When she asks where is the swing I built her, or where are
the flowers I planted, or where is the tree we used to pick fruit from, and I’ll
say they’re in Migron – maybe then she’ll start to understand.
get over it, children are better in that way.”
Ben-Dov said he divided
his tumultuous feelings into two groups. There was a general feeling of betrayal
by the prime minister and the government, which Ben- Dov said “gave their
blessing” to settle the hilltop. On a private level, he is grappling with the
destruction of his home and the logistical difficulties this brings, as well as
the overwhelming feelings that come with starting over from
Elisheva Ravzag, a mother of two who is due to give birth in
three weeks, slammed the government’s general lack of preparedness for the days
following the evacuation. “We were so worried about the struggle we didn’t think
of the day after,” she said. “The contractor stood there and promised us [the
alternate site] would be ready,” she said, with tears in her eyes.
three-and-a-half-yearold understands that something happened and she does not
like it. “Yesterday we drove to see our new house and she said, ‘Mommy, why
can’t I go home? It’s the same road, the same place, the same mountain.’” “We
will go there and we won’t give up on there, I am sure we’re going to go back,”
The High Court of Justice ordered the outpost evacuated
because it was built without permits on land classified by the state as
belonging to private Palestinians.
The court ordered all the buildings in
Migron, other than ones located on Lot No. 10 where the court is still checking
the validity of a last-minute land purchase, destroyed no later than September
11. However, residents are holding out hope that some of the permanent communal
buildings, including the synagogue and the ritual bath, will not be destroyed.
During the disengagement from Gaza in 2005 the army did not raze
synagogues.Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.