Photo Credit: Hadas Parush/Flash90
Minister Zeev Elkin

Speaking at an assembly of several hundred participants marking the fifth anniversary of the destruction of the settlement of Migron Sunday, Minister of Jerusalem Affairs and Minister of Environmental Protection Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) asked forgiveness on behalf of the government, Hakol Hayehudi reported.

“I, as a representative of the Government of Israel, ask forgiveness from the residents of Migron for the fact that we have not been able to protect the settlement and also that we have not yet established the new Migron,” Elkin said, adding, “And I hope that in the coming year we will repair and build the community. The Israeli government is asking forgiveness.”

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Migron was an Israeli settlement in the Binyamin Region, located within one mile of a former outpost by the same name, that was relocated to its present site on Sept. 2, 2012. The original outpost was located some 8 miles north of Jerusalem. It was the largest outpost of its kind, with a population of 300. It was established in 1999 and then re-established in 2001, on land supposedly registered before 1967 by the Arab villagers of Burqa. It was built with roughly $1.5 million from the Israeli government.

Responding to a petition filed in 2006 by Peace Now, Israel’s High Court of Justice ruled in August 2011 that Migron was built illegally on lands belonging to Arabs and ordered the government to dismantle the outpost by April 2012. The government decided not to obey the court order, and instead pursued an agreement with the settlers that gave them time to delay the move until November 2015. However, in March 2012 the High Court reaffirmed its earlier ruling, and ordered the IDF to evacuate Migron by August 1 2012, making clear this court ruling was non-negotiable. The evacuation of Migron was completed on September 2, 2012.

Minister Elkin told the assembly on Sunday that “There’s no reason why in the next cabinet meeting Migron should not be approved. I, as a minister and a member of the cabinet, am committed to it.” He noted that “there are several issues that need to be resolved later,” and expressed his hope “that we will reverse our failure in Amona and Migron, and we get to watch the competition between the two communities, which of them will be established faster, and, God willing, in the coming year the two communities will be established.”

The assembly began with the Minister and the MKs who were on hand signing the “Migron Charter” calling for the implementation of the permanent construction commitment for Migron.

MK Bezalel Samotrich (Habayit Hayehudi) said at the assembly: “Five years of unfulfilled government promises are an intolerable reality. We should have raised this demand years ago and it’s good that we are at least doing it now. We have to say clearly: the time for excuses is over.”

Samotrich added: “If the plan of the permanent site in Migron is not approved at the upcoming planning council meeting, we will enforce the law that we have already placed on the Knesset desk that determines that [government] promises must be kept.”

He called on the Prime Minister to “keep his promise and not put us to the test.”

The bill compelling the PM to keep his promises is being prepared by Habayit Hayehudi in light of the latter’s ongoing failure to live up to promises he has made to several groups of residents of demolished settlements to resettle them. Bibi has been very big on making these promises, but extremely small on keeping any of them.

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