Leading up to the Israeli High Court decision at the end of the month over purchasing land in the West Bank outpost of Migron, residents have initiated a fundraising campaign in an attempt to purchase the land on which the settlement was built. Donations are being collected through charitable foundations so that they are tax-free.
The campaign has been centered in religious-Zionist media outlets and weekly digests. Migron residents explained that over the last year, the option to purchase the land was presented to them, which they say debunks “Peace Now’s” court petition to evict residents on the grounds that they are squatting on private land.
Costs of purchasing land in this area are very high in relation to the value of the land itself. According to estimations, Migon residents will pay upwards of $3 million for 3 different plots and part of a fourth plot. The money has come from donors in the United States.
Cuurrently, Migron residents are asking for the public’s health in the campaign entitled “4 amot [a halakhic term, measurement of 2 meters] for 400 shekels” in order to fund further purchases.
Migron resident claim that “seeing as 15 structures remain in question, and we can make more purchases, there is a realistic possibility of leaving Migron unchanged, and we trust that the general public will be happy to support us.”
Ads in Migron promise tax refunds to anyone that donates to the cause. The donations themselves pass through external charitable foundations that are coordinating the purchasing and legal efforts. The donations are tax free. In the past, Haaretz has uncovered that the Israeli right has used charitable organizations to transfer funds to settlements.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will head a meeting of cabinet ministers on the settlement committee, to discuss the government’s answer to the Migron residents’ petition once again. 17 residents petitioned the High Court of Justice with claims that they had legally purchased the land from Palestinian owners. The government’s response has been stalled, because of the legal and political complications of the issue. Another hearing on the issue will be held in the High Court on August 29, and until then the demolition of the settlement has been postponed.
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