Attorney General: Some Migron Residents to Remain in Their Homes

According to legal opinion, one-third of the residents of Migron, whose homes are built on land that was recently purchased, will be permitted to stay in their homes.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein has formulated a legal opinion according to which one-third of the residents of Migron, whose homes are built on land that was recently purchased, will be able to remain in their homes. The legal opinion will be presented in advance of a High Court of Justice hearing on the matter that is scheduled for next week.

Two weeks ago, 17 families - constituting one-third of all residents of the settlement outpost - petitioned the High Court to permit them to remain where they are. The residents argued that the al-Watan development company, which is owned by the Mateh Binyamin regional council, had purchased part of the outpost's lands, and therefore the central argument against them - that they were living on land they did not own - was no longer valid.

The ministerial committee on settlement affairs will convene today to consider the matter of the settlement outpost at Migron. In internal defense establishment discussions, it was agreed to adopt the position that the court's verdict was to be upheld in any event, and that by August 1 all of the outpost's residents were to be evacuated. As for the plots of land acquired by al-Watan, an examination would be conducted to determine the legality of the purchase. If it proves to be valid, the option of enabling a limited civilian presence on the site would be considered.

Nevertheless, a Justice Ministry source told Haaretz that legally speaking, if the plots were lawfully purchased, it would be possible to permit someone whose home is built on them to continue to reside on the site. The homes built on other plots would be demolished. The political echelons have been informed of this position, and on its basis the state will formulate its response, which is due to be presented to the court tomorrow.

Any change to the High Court's ruling necessitates affirmation of the justices. To date, Supreme Court President Asher Grunis has adopted the position that rulings that have already been handed down should not be modified, without any connection to further events related to the case. The court hearing on the matter is scheduled for July 22.

Attorney Michael Sfarad, representing Peace Now, was hard pressed to say whether this position would remain unchanged, given the material that has been presented to the Attorney General's office. "If this is the position, it would be an indication that the right wing's hazing of the Attorney General's office in the past few months has succeeded," he said.

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