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Migron Settlers’ Last Stand at High Court on Tuesday


Migron outpost

Photo Credit: Uri Lenz/Flash90

On Tuesday morning, the Israeli Supreme Court headed by Justice Asher Grunis is expected to examine the claims of the Migron residents. Over the past few months, several residents purchased plots of land in the surrounding area; if the purchase claims of these residents are found to be in proper order, 17 out of the 50 families will be permitted to remain in the area, at best. The evacuation of the other families is expected to take place immediately after the Supreme Court hearing on Tuesday.

Last week, Defense Ministry representatives approached Migron residents and urged them to voluntarily evacuate the outpost before the court hearing, in exchange for packing and moving service. General Eitan Dangot, Coordinator of Government Activities in Judea and Samaria, stated that if the residents did not evacuate peacefully, a forced evacuation would take place on Tuesday. Residents were also told that they may lose the temporary residential site built for them about two kilometers from Migron if they refuse to evacuate.

Migron residents have said that they would refuse to evacuate willingly and would employ violence against IDF soldiers. Security sources suspect that extreme right-wing activists will descend upon the outpost to oppose the evacuating forces. Right-wing sources have already appealed to the soldiers, encouraging them to refuse to participate in the evacuation, and say that they are getting ready for the hour of the evacuation order.

Shuki Seth, a Migron resident, said that the pressure would not scare residents and that they are not planning to evacuate before the Supreme Court ruling. “I figure that the next stage will be that they start to give us orders, then they will threaten to cut off our water and electricity,” he said. “But we are not scared of manipulation. They did it in Gush Katif And they’ll do it here.”

Right-wing factions have also begun an aggressive campaign against Binyamin Netanyahu this week, pointing the finger of blame directly at the Prime Minister. According to these groups, he could have prevented the evacuation of Migron but refused to do so because of political considerations. The campaign, organized by Komemiyut – the committee of residents in the Shomron and Binyamin, has already publicized a variety of notices in weekend newspapers criticizing Netanyahu, with captions like “Migron’s Evacuation = Bibi” and “Netanyahu Destroys Migron Settlement”, etc.

Yesterday, Kommemiyut’s chairman, Mousa Cohen explained why Netanyahu is at the forefront of this new campaign: “Now he is showing his true colors,” Cohen said. “Netanyahu promised that he would strengthen the settlements, that he would command the Attorney General and not vice versa, and that he would make decisions in a forum of ministers. However, in practice, Bibi is destroying Migron and expelling the families, even though things could have obviously been done differently. The Prime Minister can no longer hide behind anyone’s apron. Someone who wants to play a hero’s role facing Ahmadinejad cannot be a coward when facing Yehuda Weinstein.”

Yariv Oppenheimer, Director General of Peace Now, called upon the residents to evacuate quietly: “What is expected from every Israeli citizen is also expected from the Migron residents. They should thank the Israeli government for building them two new settlements and agree to leave peacefully,” he said.

As of now, it remains unclear whether the outpost will be evacuated in the coming days. A source from the outpost predicted last night that the residents would not give in to pressure and would not evacuate before the Supreme Court ruling. Security forces are also anticipating that they will have to implement a forced evacuation.

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