Migron - Salman - 26.3.12
The Migron outpost in the West Bank. Photo by Emil Salman
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Representatives of the West Bank  outpost of Migron reacted harshly on Monday to a High Court of Justice decision invalidating agreements reached between settler representatives and the government, which would have delayed the demolition of the settlement.

"The Israeli government encouraged us to come here and we are demanding from the prime minister that justice be done. The ball is in the prime minister's court. We are certain that the [government's] ministers will not lend a hand to destruction [of the outpost]," said Migron spokesman Itay Hamo.

The High Court of Justice unanimously rejected a compromise deal between the state and residents of Migron on Sunday, ordering that the West Bank settlement outpost be evacuated and demolished by August 1.

According to the compromise, Israel would have been able to avoid dismantling the settlement, which it was required to do by a previous Supreme Court ruling, until 2015.

Noting that former Gaza settlers evacuated by the government in 2005 were still living in temporary housing, Hamo added that Migron residents would not be party to such an agreement.

"The government reached compromises with us and we demand that the prime minister uphold the agreement and the understandings and do everything that was discussed," said Migron founder Itai Harel.

Earlier Monday, Minister without Portfolio Benny Beginattempted to downplay the court's ruling, calling it "merely a change to the timetable."

"The court did not even address the core question of the agreements that we reached, according to which at some later stage the outpost will be evacuated, and instead of the limited, cramped settlement that exists now, a new neighborhood will be built for 200 families, and maybe more, for the glory of the state of Israel," Begin told ultra-Orthodox radio station Kol Barama.

"Thank God that we have a court in Israel that can nullify decisions made by the government," Begin said, adding that governments sometimes make mistakes and it is the court's job to fix them.

Begin also criticized a bill submitted by MK Zevulun Orlev which would regularize the legal status of outposts, calling it a "bizarre bill" which would "certainly be damaging to Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria."

"This is simply unacceptable. The purpose of this legislation is to come and say to the countries of the world that we, the Jews in Judea and Samaria, are 'thieves.' The whole idea is a stain on the settlement [enterprise]," Begin said.