Danon garners support for emergency Migron meeting

MKs calls for discussion titled “the national camp in the Knesset will not allow Migron to be evacuated – we will regularize the land through legislation.”

Israeli flag hangs off pole in Migron 370 R (photo credit: REUTERS)
Israeli flag hangs off pole in Migron 370 R
(photo credit: REUTERS)
MK Danny Danon (Likud) has collected the necessary 25 signatures to hold an emergency meeting of the Knesset plenum during the Passover break on the planned evacuation of the Migron outpost, set for August 1.
He plans to hand the signatures to Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin on Friday.
MKs from Likud, National Union, United Torah Judaism, Kadima and Shas signed a letter to Rivlin, calling for a discussion titled “the national camp in the Knesset will not allow Migron to be evacuated – we will regularize the land through legislation.”
The legislation in question is the so-called Migron Bill, proposed by MK Zevulun Orlev (Habayit Hayehudi), which states that outpost homes built on land classified by the state as private Palestinian property may not be demolished, if they have been in place for more than four years, and if at least 20 families live in the fledgling community.
It proposed compensating the Palestinian landowners, instead of evacuating homes.
The Ministerial Committee for Legislation rejected the bill in December because it believed that it would harm ongoing negotiations between the Migron residents and Minister-without-Portfolio Bennie Begin to voluntarily relocate the outpost.
Last month, however, the High Court of Justice rejected the agreement’s timeline and insisted that the outpost of 50 families must be evacuated by August 1, instead of by November 30, 2015 as the state requested.
In reaction to the court’s decision, there has been a renewed push to legislate the issues, by way of preventing Migron’s evacuation.
According to a 2005 outpost report submitted to the government by attorney Talia Sasson, Migron was constructed on private Palestinian property in May 2001 with NIS 4.3 million in funds from the Construction and Housing Ministry. It is located in the Binyamin region of the West Bank, just outside of Jerusalem.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has rejected all past legislative attempts to legalize outposts globally and in particular he has opposed authorizing those on private Palestinian property.
An official said that Netanyahu has not changed his position, even though on Wednesday he instructed the attorney-general to find a way to avoid the evacuation of another outpost on the outskirts of the Beit El settlement known as the Ulpana. It was built on land also classified by the state as private Palestinian property. The state has told the court it would evacuate 30 homes there.
Netanyahu also said that he would ask the government to authorize converting three outposts on state land, Bruchin, Rehalim and Sansana, into settlements.
But he has not approved the legalization of Migron. As part of the deal Begin hammered out on his behalf with the Migron settlers, the families would have the option to build authorized homes on state land 2 km. away, on land by the Psagot winery.
The 70 dunam plot is now under the auspices of the Binyamin Regional Council.
It will be rezoned and be transferred to the auspices of the nearby Kochav Yaakov settlements.
Once the court rejected the 2015 date, Migron families said that they did not plan to move out by August 1. Still, the Binyamin Regional Council held a symbolic cornerstone laying ceremony on Thursday.
Tractors began to clear the area for construction for new Migron homes, even though the permitting and rezoning process has not been completed.
Right wing politicians have said they side with the Migron families’ desire to stay in their current location and are lobbying Netanyahu to support legislation that would authorize the existing homes and deal with all such homes in Judea and Samaria.
The special session is a symbolic show of force by Danon and right wing parliamentarians because no bills can be approved, even for a preliminary reading during such a meeting.
Orlev has hesitated to bring his legislation to the plenum as a private member’s bill until he knows it would pass.
Once the plenum rejects a private member’s bill, it cannot be voted on for another six months.
Although a number of Likud ministers have spoken out in support of such legislation, none of them signed Danon’s petition.
Danon hopes that the special Knesset session will encourage the ministers to support Orlev’s bill.
“The High Court is trying to prevent the government from doing its job, so we will regularize Migron though a law and make it clear to the court that the government is the sovereign in the State of Israel,” Danon said.
He charged that Defense Minister Ehud Barak wanted to destroy settler homes, such as those in Migron, to garner support from left wing voters in the next election.
Danon said the Likud was elected to build settlements, not destroy them, and he does not want to give Peace Now and other left wing organizations “the satisfaction of seeing Jews evacuating other Jews.” He also called to change the High Court’s “pro-Palestinian outlook on settlement in Judea and Samaria,” explaining that the majority of Israelis support the national camp and the Likud.