Rivlin: Knesset will legalize Migron if gov't doesn't

Knesset speaker visits settlement homes slated for demolition, says "residents here are not thieves."

Migron outpost aerial_311 (photo credit: Baz Ratner / Reuters)
Migron outpost aerial_311
(photo credit: Baz Ratner / Reuters)
If the government does not legalize Migron, the Knesset will, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said on a visit to the outpost on Thursday.
Rivlin called on the government to take responsibility for the current situation, in which the High Court ordered homes demolished by the end of March, because they were built on private Palestinian land.
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The Knesset Speaker said the government must legalize the homes in question, and could reimburse the landowners if they prove ownership.
"The residents here are not thieves and are not trying to banish people from their land. They came here innocently, with the encouragement of the State of Israel," Rivlin explained.
Rivlin stated that he does not oppose the court's decision. Rather, he said, the government should find a legal way to change the land's status, either through legislation or a government decision.
"If the government doesn't do this, the Knesset will," he added.
In addition, Rivlin said that there is no reason to demolish the houses and rebuild them in another part of Migron. According to the Knesset Speaker, that would mean that the state is admitting it did an injustice and allowed land to be stolen, which it did not do.
Numerous bills that would legalize outposts have been proposed in recent months, which are meant to save the homes in outposts such as Migron and Givat Asaf, as well as the Ulpana neighborhood in Bet El.
These bills have all been rejected by the Ministerial Committee on Legislation, so that the government can negotiate with the homeowners and find a solution other than new laws.