Powered by WebAds

Monday, July 25, 2011

Migron gets reprieve

Three homes in the Jewish village of Migron escaped destruction on Sunday when the government decided at the last minute to seek a 30-day reprieve from a demolition order that is pending against them. It is alleged that the homes have been built on 'Palestinian land.' Here's a relatively detached view of the saga of Migron.
Migron, which is home to 50 families, was first built in 1999, said Chamo. The state believed that it was a strategic point and the Ministry of Housing and Construction drew up initial blue prints for 500 housing units, including public buildings.

His statement of initial state support is backed up by 2005 Talia Sasson report, which stated that the Ministry of Housing and Construction spent to NIS 4.3 million to help develop the site, even though it lacked authorization from the Defense Ministry or the government.

The report also stated that the outpost was not constructed until May 2001 and that the land belonged to Palestinians. The state has accepted Sasson’s classification, a move that has placed the outpost in particular jeopardy given that the state has been clear about its intention to demolish outposts like Migron, which are constructed on private Palestinian property.

But Chamo has argued that the issue of Migron is not so clear-cut. Out of the 64 land lots of which the outpost is composed, 57 are abandoned property, he said. He said that three other lots were purchased from Palestinian owners and only against four lots are there claims of Palestinian ownership.

He said that in 2009 the outpost filed a case regarding the status of the land before a Tel Aviv court. That case has been put on hold pending the High Court decision on the outpost, he said.

In 2006, Peace Now filed a case against the outpost, which was put on hold in 2008 when the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip stuck a deal with the government, in which it promised that Migron would be voluntarily removed to the nearby settlement of Geva Binyamin within two years.

When bureaucracy delayed the move and Peace Now saw that Migron residents were building they reactivated the case asking for the demolition of the outpost given that it had failed to keep Migron residents from building in the interim.

Also this year, Yesh Din filed a separate case against the three homes, asking that they be demolished.

Chamo added that with respect to the three homes, two are on property the outpost purchased and the third is on abandoned property.

Yesh Din, however, has argued that all three homes sit on land that is clearly owned by Palestinians.

In weeks past, Migron residents have invited all those who support them to come visit. In recent days, they have also urged them to camp out at the outpost to prevent the demolition of the three homes.

On Sunday they gave tours to visitors. Large signs stating, “Migron: Everyone’s battle,” were stretched on a gate within the outpost and along the road leading up to it.

Migron residents and settler leaders, including Binyamin Regional Countil head Avi Ro’eh, in whose jurisdiction Migron lies, held meetings at the outpost.

As they huddled on plastic chairs set up in the Migron parking lot, one of the three families that live in the homes slated for demolition prepared to pack their bags. The owner, who works for the police department, has been ordered by his superiors to leave the house or risk losing his job.

Haim Teittelbaum who studies in a Jerusalem yeshiva, does not have to bow to the same pressure. He, his wife and their three children, are remaining in their home.

He said that he had come to Migron because he wanted to take a stand on behalf of Jewish continuity in Judea and Samaria.

Migron, he said, has become symbolic of the courage of the settlement movement, which has taken a strong stand against foreign influence.

“We want to finish what the state started,” he said, as his five-year-old son Oz sat on his lap.

Teittelbaum said that his children understand that the fate of their home hangs in the balance. They also know what they will do if their homes is destroyed.

“We will build a new home,” said Oz.
In the US, Peace Now and Yesh Din would have no standing to come into court and seek to expel the residents of Migron. Only the alleged actual owners of the land could file suit, and then they would likely only receive compensation and not be able to have the homes demolished.

Labels: ,


At 1:40 PM, Blogger Matt said...

Built on "Palestinian land"?

Is it in Jordan then? I'm confused.

Good luck to them!


Post a Comment

<< Home