Netanyahu Calls for 'Civil' Evacuation of Contentious West Bank Outpost

With state ultimatum to dismantle large portion of Migron set to expire in three days, Netanyahu says government will 'respect court decion while continuing to strengthen settlements.

Three days before the ultimatum to evacuate 30 out of 46 families in the West Bank outpost of Migron expires, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that the evacuation would be carried out in accordance with the Supreme Court's decision.

"We will respect the court's decision while continuing to strengthen the settlements," Netanyahu said in a meeting with Likud ministers. "We have done so in Beit El and we will do so in Migron. We have already prepared the alternative housing site and we are hoping things will be conducted in a civil manner."

Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya'alon said it would have been preferable for families not named in the legal case to have willfully moved to the alternative site, Hayekev Hill. "The majority plans to move after the High Court's ruling," he said, "but it is possible that some residents will not want to move on their own and will await the evacuation 'like sacks of potatoes,' as they put it, meaning passive resistance." Ya'alon warned "other elements" might try to make the resistance more forceful, adding that those who refuse to move will have violated the agreement reached with the government and will not be able to live in the alternative site.

Starting Monday, the Defense Ministry is offering to help Migron residents move their belongings to a temporary home at a nearby site prepared by the state. But none have so far sought such assistance due to a legal dispute over whether the deadline for leaving the settlement outpost voluntarily falls before or after the High Court of Justice hearing scheduled for 10 A.M. on Tuesday.

Over the weekend, settler leaders held feverish talks with the army in an effort to determine whether it plans to forcibly evacuate 30 families from Migron in the next two days. Those 30 families live on land that has never been purchased from its Palestinian owners.