The Israeli government is footing the bill, worth hundreds of thousands of shekels, for moving caravans in the now-evacuated West Bank outpost of Migron. The caravans are owned and rented out by an organization called Amana, which supports settlements in the West Bank and other areas of Israel.
The mobile structures at Migron are not owned by the former Migron residents, but rather by Amana, an organization responsible for illegal settlement construction in numerous other areas, has a yearly budget of tens of millions of shekels.
The caravans were brought to Migron by Amana over the years, beginning in 2001, and Migron residents paid rent in order to use them. If the settlers’ goal had been realized, and Migron were to become a permanent settlement, Amana would have paid to remove the caravans, and sent them on to their next destination.
On Tuesday, the removal of all personal property from Migron was completed. Starting on Wednesday morning, large tow trucks arrived on the scene to begin removing the mobile structures to a nearby industrial area. There are roughly 50 such structures in Migron, and all will be turned over to Amana, which will use them as it sees fit.
Oddly, the government is covering the cost of moving the structures. One official involved in the matter claimed that the cost of such a move is in the hundreds of thousands of shekels, due to the high cost of renting a large amount of heavy trucks, necessary for moving the caravans. Salary and overtime for Defense Ministry workers also increases the costs.
According to Israeli law, when an individual receives a demolition order, he or she is responsible to cover the costs of demolition. If that individual fails to cover the costs, the government steps in. In this case, the government has stepped into the shoes of those who broke the law, and helped them to preserve their property, rather than demolish it.
The director of Amana, Ze’ev Hever, did not respond to Haaretz’s requests for comment.
The Defense Ministry responded that as the operational arm of the government, it is required by the High Court of Justice ruling to make sure that all of the structures are removed from the area according to the timetable set by the court.