Peace Now asks High Court to reject Migron deal

Request comes in advance of court hearing on the matter in Jerusalem.

Migron home 390 (photo credit: TOVAH LAZAROFF)
Migron home 390
(photo credit: TOVAH LAZAROFF)
Attorneys for Peace Now asked the High Court of Justice on Tuesday to reject the state’s petition to relocate Migron two kilometers away from its present location by November 30, 2015.
The request comes in advance of a Thursday morning court hearing on the matter in Jerusalem.
The state’s appeal to the court to overturn the verdict issued in August “undermines the rule of law,” said attorney Shlomy Zachary.
At the time, the court ruled that the outpost was constructed without the proper permits on land the state had classified as belonging privately to Palestinians.
It further stated that the outpost must be evacuated by the end of March, irrespective of any relocation plans the government might have for the 50 families living there.
Last week, the state asked the court to set aside that verdict in favor of an agreement it had brokered with Migron residents with the help of Minister-without- Portfolio Bennie Begin.
Peace Now, which first petitioned the court against the outpost in 2006 on behalf of the Palestinian land-owners, said that its clients had never been notified of the negotiations between the state and the Migron settlers. They had learned about it only through the media, the organization’s statement said.
Peace Now also chastised the state for waiting until the last minute to submit its request.
In addition, the attorneys noted that a 2008 agreement to relocate the Migron settlers to the nearby settlement of Geva Binyamin had never been executed.
Similarly, they said, they did not believe that the settlers would relocate through this newest agreement.
“We have been in this movie before,” Zachary said.
The civil administration had already stated that it was problematic to construct homes on the new site for Migron, near the Psagot winery, the statement said.
According to Zachary, the court’s August ruling determined that there was no connection between a housing solution for the settlers and the evacuation date for the outpost. Now the state is trying to connect the two by asking for a three-and-a-half-year delay, he said, adding that in effect, the state was asking the court to cooperate with an ongoing violation of law.
In its statement to the court, Peace Now said the agreement rewarded lawbreakers and moved the whole issue of Migron over to the next government.
The government has said that the relocation agreement respects the rule of law and avoids the violence that would accompany a forced evacuation.
Migron settlers have argued that the outpost was built with initial approvals from the government, even though final permits were never issued. They have said the status of their land was never properly adjudicated.