Cabinet Secretly Approves Additional NIS 7.6 Million for Migron Relocation

State requests delay in evacuation of Migron settlers; High Court to convene Sunday afternoon to discuss petition of 15 Migron settlers asking to stay on grounds.

Israeli government has secretly approved an additional NIS 7.6 million for the construction of a temporary site for Migron settlers, an affidavit submitted by the settlement division in the World Zionist Organization reveals.

Including this sum, the total budget allocated for the construction has reached NIS 33 million - some NIS 730,000 per family.

The affidavit was submitted to the High Court of Justice as part of another government request to postpone the evacuation of Migron.

According to the High Court's ruling, the illegal settlement was supposed to be evacuated by the end of March, but the state turned to the court and had requested to postpone the evacuation by three and half years, until a permanent site for the settlers would be prepared. The High Court rejected the state's request, but agreed to postpone the evacuation until the end of July.

On Sunday morning, the state has requested to postpone the evacuation to the end of August. The state claims that in "recent days" GOC Central Command Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon asked to delay the evacuation until after the Muslims' Ramadan fast.

Alon gave no explanation as for how he only became aware of the Ramadan fast a few days ago. In addition, the state also claims that the temporary relocation site is not ready yet.

The affidavit, submitted by the director of the central district of the settlement division Yuval Ponak, who is responsible for the construction of the temporary residential site, said that only last week Ponak became aware that the construction of the temporary site will not be completed.

The delay, according to affidavit, was caused by a shortage of residential caravans (which were used for the relocation of the evacuees of the Ulpana neighborhood in Beit El), by bureaucratic difficulties and by incorrect construction calculations. The state said that it spared no expense in preparing the temporary site. Ponak's affidavit reveals that the Ministerial Committee for Settlement in Judea and Samaria approved, in a secret procedure, an additional sum of NIS 7.6 million for the construction, on top of NIS 25 million originally allocated for the site.

The state also asked the court for a month's delay in submitting its answer regarding the petition of 15 Migron settlers who recently claimed to have purchased land in the outpost and request to stay in their homes. Due to disagreements among members of the Ministerial Committee for Settlement in Judea and Samaria as to the government's stance on the matter, the government has repeatedly requested to postpone its answer.

The request to further delay the Migron evacuation by a month, citing 'recent' developments, is probably a result of these inner differences.

High Court President Asher Grunis and judges Miriam Naor and Edna Arbel will hear Migron settler's petition Sunday afternoon and will probably also address the state's latest request to postpone the settlement's evacuation.

In response to the state's request, Peace Now said that the "government of Israel lost its shame and is using every possible excuse to delay the implementation of a High Court verdict. The state's answer is an admission of surrender to the 'price tag' vandals, which that thanks to their actions the government is now requesting to postpone the evacuation."