Migron residents move into new neighborhood

Defense Ministry begins to move caravans from Migron into the Psagot neighborhood; 12 caravans still uninhabitable.

Caravans in Psagot neighborhood 390 (photo credit: Melanie Lidman)
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.
The Defense Ministry began dismantling and moving the old caravans from Migron.
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 uncertainty.
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 understand.
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.
But she’ll 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 scratch.
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.
Her 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,” Ravzag vowed.
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.