Daily Israel Report

Arabs withdraw Lawsuit Claiming Migron Land

The State is about to raze homes built on "Arab" land, yet the Arab "owners" admit they have no proof of ownership.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 11/8/2011, 8:50 AM

Migron
Migron
Flash 90

The court case against the Jewish community of Migron north of Jerusalem took a dramatic turn Monday, according to the Samaria Regional Authority. The Arabs who claim the land is theirs withdrew their lawsuit for damages after being required to present proof of ownership.

This means that the Arabs have no evidence showing that the land is theirs. These are the same Arabs whose legal motion led to a High Court decision to raze the Jewish homes built on the land.

Ultra-leftist group Peace Now presented that motion on behalf of several Arabs who demanded that Migron be demolished because it was allegedly "built upon their private lands."

The residents of Migron and representatives of residents in Binyamin and Samaria claimed in their rebuttal that the land had been legally purchased by them. The High Court decision to raze the Jewish homes was reached without any previous lower court discussion of the evidence in the case, they argued. The High Court does not debate evidence. Therefore, they were never given the chance to prove ownership.

The Arabs and Peace Now were not content with the High Court motion and at the same time, they filed a civil lawsuit in the Jerusalem Magistrates' Court demanding the State compensate them for the years in which it allowed Jewish settlers to use the land.

The State responded by claiming that the Arabs have to prove their ownership of the land, and the court gave them a certain period of time to do so. This period expired Monday. On Monday evening, Peace Now attorney Michael Sfard submitted a request on behalf of the Arabs to withdraw the lawsuit. This can only mean that they have no proof that the land indeed belongs to them.

In fact, the development also means that the High Court ruled that a community of 60 families must be demolished based upon claims by Arabs, who had to withdraw their claim in a simple legal evidentiary procedure in the Magistrates' Court.