State, Settlers Reach Deal to Evacuate West Bank Outpost of Migron

Tentative agreement, a written version of which still has to be approved by both the State Prosecutor's Office and the Supreme Court, states outposts' residents must relocate to nearby hill by 2015.

Minister Benny Begin and the residents of the West Bank outposts of Migron reached an agreement on the voluntary evacuation of the settlement on Thursday, a deal which still has to be approved by the State Prosecutor's Office.

According to Migron representatives, they have yet to sign the written version of the agreement, and that they were waiting to see the agreed-on terms before signing an official document.

In a press conference on Monday, Begin responded to reports that negotiations geared at reaching an agreement over Migron had failed, saying that the residents of the West Bank outpost had "a few hours to accept the deal."

According to Begin, he reached an agreement with the residents' representatives, attorney Yaakov Weinrot, according to which the state would ask the High Court of Justice to postpone the evacuation until 2015, during which a permanent abode would be built elsewhere.

One of the issues that prevented the deal's finalizing was Begin's insistence that the agreement state that current Migron structures be demolished while the residents wanted the structures to remain standing for future public use.

On Thursday, however, it appeared that the two sides were able to reconcile their differences, with the final version that does not mention the structures' demolition, only that the state would following Supreme Court rulings, a possible allusion to a Supreme Court order to evacuate the outpost by March 31.

In addition, the final version also stipulates that Migron residents are to relocate to Giv'at Hayekev, a nearby hill that will be rezoned as a neighborhood of the larger Kokhav Yaakov settlement. The deal also stated that the state would favorably consider non-residential civilian use of Migron's homes.

The draft agreement will be submitted to the Supreme Court alongside a request to postpone its original ruling on Migron. The Justices are due to convene by the end of the month and decide whether or not to grant that request.

in response to reports of a finalized agreement, Migron residents said in response that "the residents are waiting for a final version of the agreed-on terms since noon [Thursday] but that has yet to arrive.

"Only after the final version is received, the residents will convene and discuss whether or not it reflects the agreed-on changes, and only then will sign the deal," the statement added.

Read this article in Hebrew

Pierre Terdjman / BauBau