A new settlement is what you get when you “invade someone else’s land” and
“refuse to evacuate,” stated Peace Now in a poster it published this week on the
Internet against the Migron outpost.
Settlers hit the Web this week as
well with a YouTube video in support of legalizing Migron, which is slated for
demolition in March.
Peace Now struck back in virtual reality with the
poster, a YouTube video and a file of information on the outpost.
Sunday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu offered to authorize homes for Migron
settlers on state land in an empty portion of the same hilltop on which their
community is now situated.
Peace Now has charged that such authorization
would mark the first time in more than a decade that Israel has created a new
Migron settlers have to date rejected the compromise and
continued with their campaign to legalize the outpost in its present
The High Court of Justice has ordered Migron’s demolition
because it was built without the proper authorization and on land that the state
has classified as belonging to private Palestinians.
have argued that the land’s status has never properly been adjudicated. They
contend that it can be reclassified as state land under the laws of abandoned
property and that some of the lots were purchased from Palestinians.
Wednesday, Peace Now published a document on the Web called “The Migron File,”
in which it took issue with the settlers’ claims.
Before 1967, the
outpost land was registered with the Jordanians under the name of Palestinian
owners, according to Peace Now. The group’s Hagit Ofran said it was still listed
in their name under the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria.
part of “The Migron File,” Peace Now posted a photograph of the Palestinian land
ownership papers for Migron lots on the Internet, with a stamp from the Civil
It also included quotes from high-level IDF
According to Peace Now, Brig.-Gen. Kamil Abu Rukon, who
formerly headed the Civil Administration said, “The land on which the buildings
of the outpost were built is registered Palestinian land within the boundaries
of the villages of Burka and Deir Dibwan.”
It also quoted Eitan Broshi,
the Defense Ministry’s settlement adviser in 2009, as saying, “The land in the
outpost is registered land owned by Palestinian residents.”
Migron File,” Peace Now explained that the outpost was first constructed in
2001, when settlers received a permit to place a cellular antenna on the
It showed an aerial photograph from 2000, in which the hilltop
appears to be empty. By 2003, according to another aerial photo, many of the
outpost structures were already there.
In 2006, Peace Now petitioned the
High Court of Justice to demolish the outpost. At the time, according to the
group, the state said that because the outpost was built on private land, “there
is no legal possibility to accept its existence.”
“No one, as senior as
they might be, had the authority to order the construction of the outpost,” the
state said in 2006.
Demolition of the outpost was staved off in 2008,
when the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip made
an agreement with the government to relocate the home to the nearby settlement
of Geva Binyamin. The state never built the new homes, and Migron residents
never accepted the offer.
In August 2011, after Peace Now turned once
again to the court, it ruled that the outpost must be demolished by March of
But attorney Amir Fisher, who represents the Migron settlers,
said that the Palestinians now claiming ownership of the land were not the same
Palestinians in whose name the land had been registered.
“There is no
argument that the land was registered to Palestinians,” he said, explaining that
the question at hand was who now had the right to the land – the residents of
Migron, or the Palestinians who claimed to have inherited it from the initial
owners? He also took issue with Peace Now’s attack on the settlers as people who
decided on their own to build Migron, or even worse, as people who “stole” the
According to Fisher, Peace Now has ignored the fact that it was the
state, with the help of the Construction and Housing Ministry, and not the
settlers, who built Migron.
He pointed to the 2005 report by attorney
Talia Sasson on the outposts, which stated that the ministry had spent NIS 4.325
million on Migron.
The outpost, which is located in the Binyamin region
of the West Bank, just outside of Jerusalem, is now home to 50 families.