Top Official Says Knesset Could Call Emergency Meet Over High Court's Ruling on Migron

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin says rejection of deal between state, residents of the West Bank outpost does not seal the fate of a consensual evacuation.

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said Sunday that he would allow an emergency session to discuss the future of the West Bank outpost of Migron, after the High Court of Justice rejected a deal between the state and the residents of the settlement.

Such a session could, theoretically, facilitate a vote on a proposed bill concerning West Bank outposts if 25 Knesset members submit their signatures, as protocol stipulates.

West Bank Migron settlement, AP

Speaking following the court's ruling earlier in the day, Rivlin said that "it is regrettable that negotiations lasted this long. Now the government must formulate a solution, whether by relocating to temporary housing or through any other way."

"The High Court's decision does not seal the deal's fate, since the court didn't reject the proposed outline, only limited the time of execution," Rivlin added, saying that "while I feel the timetable set by the court is too narrow, I still believe we can go ahead with the agreement between the government and the residents of Migron."

The bill, which could be revived in an emergency Knesset session, was pulsed earlier this month by its sponsor MK Zevulun Orlev, who said he preferred to wait until the fate of the Migron outpost was decided.

The bill states that if a Jewish residential neighborhood had been built on land whose legal owners didn't challenge the construction within four years, the houses would not be evacuated. Instead, the bill allows for the courts to set compensation for the owners, either in cash or in alternate nearby land of equal value. In the bill's explanatory notes, Orlev and the 19 other Knesset members signed on the bill state that this process would only apply to communities of at least 20 families.

The court's decision Sunday was reached unanimously by a panel of three Supreme Court Justices – Asher Grunis, Mirian Naro and Salim Joubran – who ordered the outpost demolished by August 1.

In the ruling, drafted by justice Naor, the court stated that it had the authority to postpone the date of the original order's execution, adding, however, that it saw no need to do so in this case.

On Sunday, Haaretz learned that security officials were feverishly weighing potential courses of action following the court's decision.

In the past, the state offered Migron residents to move to a temporary site until a permanent one is established, but they denied the proposal, which led to the formation of the rejected compromise deal.

At the time, in 2008, the Defense Ministry reached an agreement with the Yesha Settlement Council, according to which Migron would be relocated to one of three potential sites: a hilltop within Adam; a hill in the Sha'ar Benyamin's industrial zone; and a hill in Kokhav Yaakov's jurisdiction.

Eventually, the regional council rejected the deal, despite the fact that it was supported by settlement rabbis as well as the Yesha chief.

Now, in their search for a solution that could provide a social solution to the outpost's residents, security officials are expected to offer them to move to a caravan site in the settlement of Geva Benymain (also known as Adam) until permanent housing is completed in a yet-to-be-determined location.

According to a source in the Civil Administration, the state could approve a building plan in Geva Binyamin within 60 days, lay down the infrastructure and move all of Migron's mobile homes to the new spot. Once the residents are resettled, the source said, the government could decide where they could build permanent homes.