Migron settlers to sign relocation agreement

W. Bank outpost to be moved 2 kms away from present location as part of deal which residents say "will prevent civil war."

Migron residents walk by site of demolished home_311 (photo credit: TOVAH LAZAROFF)
Migron residents walk by site of demolished home_311
(photo credit: TOVAH LAZAROFF)
Migron residents have agreed to sign an agreement at 8 p.m. Sunday night with the government to move their small West Bank outpost two kilometers away from its present location.
Once all 50 Migron families have signed the document, the state will ask the High Court of Justice to nullify its order to demolish the outpost by the end of March.
In a statement to the media, Migron settlers said they had placed their faith in the government and its representative who had negotiated the deal, Minister without-portfolio Benny Begin (Likud).
"This agreement will prevent a civil war, and that is the reason the government has chosen to present it to the High Court,” the statement added.
According to the court, Migron was constructed without proper permits on land which the state has classified as belonging to private Palestinians.
Under the terms of the agreement, the government will authorize nearby state land for construction of permanent homes. Migron settlers have until November 30, 2015 to build new homes in an area of their hilltop near the Psagot Winery.
The land on which Migron is now located will then be handed over to the Civil Administration, which has agreed to consider using the site for a public civic project.
Migron settlers said they had decided to sign the agreement even though they have contested the state classification of their land. They have argued that the land status has never been properly adjudicated.
“We are doing this with a heavy heart, out of a sense of national responsibility,” they said.
According to a government report compiled by attorney Talia Sasson in 2005, Migron was built in May 2001 with NIS 4.3 million from the Construction and Housing Ministry.
Peace Now Executive Director Yariv Oppenheimer called on the court to reject the agreement.
"It makes a fool of the court. We still have some hope that the Supreme Court will keep its dignity and will reject it," he said.
Oppenheimer noted that the agreement lacked a clear statement, which said that the Migron homes would be evacuated.
He warned, "What will happen instead is that we will end up with two outposts."