West Bank Outpost Residents Urged to Consent to Demolition

Prime Minister Netanyahu tells weekly cabinet meeting Migron residents should evacuate peacefully by High Court-imposed March 31 deadline.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that the demolition of the illegal West Bank outpost should go ahead peacefully, and with the agreement of residents, before the deadline of March 31 set by a High Court of Justice ruling.

Speaking at his weekly Sunday cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said, “The High Court ordered that Migron must be evacuated by March 31. The government wants to carry out the court’s decision peacefully and with consent.”

Migron settlement
Michal Fattal

Netanyahu was expressing his support for a proposal by MK Benny Begin for evacuating Migron, in which residents are offered a deal which would provide them with new housing.

Minister without Portfolio Benny Begin, charged with negotiating with the settlers, is trying to strike a deal that would move the outpost a few hundred meters away, to a location known as the "Yekev Hill."

Netanyahu told ministers that the government is offering Migron residents a compromise, where they will build homes for residents evacuated from Migron at a nearby site. The site will be on state lands “whose development will be regulated” and not on private Palestinian land.

When construction is completed, Migron residents will be moved to the new housing site, and the current site will be cleared and handed over to local administration.

“The government is calling on Migron residents to agree to the compromise under offer and to enable the government to approach the High Court soon for its approval of the deal,” Netanyahu said. “This is a good offer that does not solve all problems, but is able to solve the problem of Migron.”

Netanyahu was speaking a week ahead of the Likud leadership primaries vote, in which he will be up against Moshe Feiglin, considered more to the right of the political spectrum than Netanyahu, and in the context of serious pressure within Likud to stop the evacuation of Migron.

Prominent Likud members against the evacuation include Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat and Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, who support legislation that would legalize the land remaining in Jewish hands.

Livnat, who visited Migron last week, said, "There should be a legal regularization of the outposts in Judea and Samaria, with the participation of their inhabitants."

"Uprooting them without regularization would be undemocratic and immoral," she added.

Last week, a senior IDF officer from the Central Command warned that evacuation of the Migron outpost would harm stability in the area. Such an operation would require thousands of soldiers and policemen that would have to evacuate the settlers and dismantle all the homes. Talking to the press Tuesday, the officer said that demolishing Migron would be different from routine evacuation of outposts, and would be "like the disengagement" from the Gaza Strip.

Read this article in Hebrew