(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin agreed Sunday night to hold a special plenum
session on legalizing outposts constructed on private Palestinian property if he
receives the necessary 25 signatures.
Vice Premier Silvan Shalom (Likud)
said he supports such a move. “The last word has not been spoken on this
subject,” he said.
Right-wing parliamentarians moved immediately to call
for the plenum to debate the matter during the Passover break, upon hearing that
the High Court of Justice had ordered the evacuation of the Migron outpost by
August 1 of this year.
The outpost is built on property classified by the
state as belonging to private Palestinians.
The state had hoped to delay
its evacuation until November 30, 2015, when permanent homes could be built for
the outpost’s 50 families on state land located 2 km. away.
rejection of the compromise prompted parliamentarians to turn to the Knesset to
legislate a solution.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has rejected such
legislative attempts in the past. The Prime Minister’s Office did not respond to
the latest initiative.
As of press time, however, the MKs had not yet
collected enough signatures to ensure a special session.
In light of
Sunday’s court ruling, however, MK Uri Ariel (National Union) said, “there is no
option but to advance legislation that would give Migron legal standing at its
present site without any relocation or evacuation.”
Migron is not the
only immediately endangered outpost located on land classified as private
In separate court cases the state had promised to
evacuate the outposts of Givat Assaf, Amona and the Ulpana, which are similarly
Parliamentarians from the Likud, the Nation Union and Habayit
Hayehudi want to push forward legislation that would authorize such outposts,
and any other with the same classification.
The legislation argues that
under the law of abandoned property, outposts that have been in existence for
more than seven years can be reclassified as state land.
In addition, the
state should compensate the Palestinian landowners for the property, according
to the legislation.
MK Ya’acov Katz (National Union) said that from the
start it had been clear to him that the only solution to Migron was
The government should not destroy any community it helped to
create, he said.
“There is no reason why Jews should be evacuated from
their homes under a Likud government,” said MK Danny Danon (Likud). “We must
make use of the responsibility given to us by the people to lead the nation and
the settlements in Judea and Samaria according to the values of Ze’ev Jabotinsky
and [former prime minister] Menachem Begin.”
A number of right-wing
parliamentarians slammed the court’s decision warning that it could lead to
violence and possible civil war.
MK Arye Eldad (National Union) said that
“the court proved today that it preferred Arab interests over Jewish settlement
even at the expense of spilling blood. If blood is spilled in Migron it will be
on the heads of the court justices.”
Likud activist Moshe Feiglin warned
that parliamentarians who opposed the legislation would lose his support and
that of his followers in the next election.
MK Uri Orbach (Habayit
Hayehudi) said the court’s judgment clarified the irrelevance of setting a date
for new elections.
“There is no need to advance the elections. We should
eliminate them. Any which way it is clear that the judges believe they run the
country,” he said.
The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel slammed the
“The High Court justices could have made a decision to avoid
conflict in Israeli society,” said Forum director attorney Nachi Eyal. “Clearly
the court thinks human rights are only for Palestinians, not for
“What do you expect from a panel containing a justice who won’t
sing Hatikva?” Eyal added, in a dig at Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran, who
declined to sing the national anthem at Supreme Court president (emeritus) Dorit
Beinisch’s retirement ceremony.
Eyal called on the Knesset to strengthen
legislation to resolve land disputes in the West Bank in different ways.