Min. Eli Yishai To Netanyahu: Stop Migron Demolition Now!
The Minister of the Interior, Eli Yishai (Shas) has recently written a letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, urging him to prevent the destruction of three structures in the Binyamin region town of Migron.
Migron is an Israeli town founded in 1999 and re-founded in 2001. Migron is 5 kilometers north of Jerusalem in the jurisdiction of the Mateh Binyamin Regional Council in the northern part of Judea and Samaria. It is situated just off Highway 60 between Ofra and the Shaar Binyamin Industrial Park.
The radical left ‘Yesh Din’ (‘There is Justice’, ed.) movement filed a petition with the High Court of justice to order demolitions in the community, claiming it was built on Palestinian-owned land. The original owners cited had nothing to do with the claim. The state informed the High Court that it intends to demolish three of the homes in Migron within 45 days.
The legal advisor the the Shomron (Samaria) Regional Council, Adv. Akiva Sylvetsky has exlained that one of the nationalist criticisms of Supreme Court policy is that it accepts suits over land ownership filed by non-involved parties, so that even in the rare cases when land used is proven to be owned by Arabs, they are prevented from quietly receiving payment for it although they might prefer to do that. This is actually an abrogation of the Arab owner's freedom of choice, as he will be subject to punishment by the PA which forbids sale to Jews or murdered by terrorists who do not wait for courts of law. Another issue is the Court's considering unclaimed non-state owned land as Arab by default, as occurred in Eli.
The entire town of Migron is in jeopardy and this is seen by nationalists as a first step that must be prevented. The state has offered to relocate Migron to the suburb of another Binyamin community that does not yet exist, an idea rejected by residents, who wish to remain in their homes.
“The state should cancel the demolition order against the three homes as long as there is an appeal to the High Court pertaining to the entire town, and the appeal on the issue of the three homes was erased by the High Court,” wrote Yishai.
“I would like you to prevent the destruction of the homes of loyal law-abiding citizens for the following reasons:
1. The State of Israel supported the construction of the town of Migron due to its strategic location, and the fact that it is abandoned land that falls into the category of absentee property.
2. A reality where it is easy to evacuate families from their homes, and then demolish the structures creates a social and judicial imbalance. When a local municipality built on someone’s land, the state did not demolish the construction, but offered financial compensation instead. The state shows great tolerance toward severe examples of illegal [Arab, ed.] construction. I am certain that in this case of Migron, the destruction can be avoided. Not to mention the fact that the demolition will trigger more lawsuits against other towns in Judea and Samaria.
3. In these days we need to unite the nation. The evacuation and demolition will demoralize the residents, will add to strife and deter unity.
Yishai concluded with, ”I would thank you, Mr. Prime Minister, if you would seriously weigh these considerations, and instruct the relevant parties to stand against baseless claims that threaten the normal lives of citizens of the state.”
Migron residents are concerned about the intention of Defense Minister Ehud Barak to demolish the three homes despite the fact that the ‘Yesh Din’ movement withdrew its claims against them.
Next week, a protest tent camp will be set up at Migron, and the Binyamin Regional Council will move its operations there. The council website states that “The legal solution for Migron can be found through the regular court system, like all real estate issues, without having to resort to the High Court.”