Israel Decides Not to Charge Official Over State Funding of West Bank Outpost Migron

Haaretz obtained documents showing that Housing Ministry official Yair Rafaeli spurred and urged his staff to assist the settlement; Justice Ministry: Case was closed in January.

The Housing Ministry official allegedly behind state funding and assistance given to the Migron outpost in 2002-3 will not face criminal charges, after the State Prosecutor closed the case in January.

Yair Rafaeli headed the Housing and Construction Ministry's Jerusalem district in 2002-2003. In those years, the illegal outpost Migron received massive government support, consisting of a plan to construct 500 housing units, pave a road, build sewage and electricity infrastructures, among other things.

migron - Haaretz - August 3 2011

Haaretz obtained documents showing that Rafaeli had spurred and urged his office staff to assist the outpost.

Following attorney Talia Sasson's report of March 2005, which detailed the state's involvement in setting up illegal outposts, police launched an investigation into the procedure leading to Migron's establishment. Rafaeli was the primary suspect in the case.

In 2007 the case was passed to the State Prosecutor's Office, where it gathered dust for several years.

Pierre Terdjman / BauBau

In January 2012, State Prosecutor Moshe Lador decided to close the case, Haaretz learned.

In recent years police opened several criminal inquiries into illegal construction in the outposts, involving forged documents and illegal building permits and money transfers.

All the inquiries were closed without pressing charges. An investigation into the construction of 50 buildings without permits in the Shiloh settlement is now taking place.

The Justice Ministry commented on Monday, "The case was closed in January 2012. It took a long time to deal with the case due to its complexity. Finally it was decided to scrap it due to lack of evidence against some of the suspects, and due to lack of public interest regarding others."

Peace Now said: "Setting up the illegal outposts reeks strongly of a cover-up. Criminal offenses that were committed in broad daylight were not investigated seriously.

Surprisingly, to this day not a single person was found to blame for establishing the illegal outposts. Until the people involved are held personally responsible, public officials and workers will continue to cooperate [with these illegal doings]."