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      Netanyahu: Government will Abide by High Court Ruling on Migron

      Judges threw out compromise between government and Jewish residents – set eviction deadline to August 1.
      By Gil Ronen
      First Publish: 3/25/2012, 5:07 PM

      Netanyahu
      Netanyahu
      Israel news photo: Flash 90

       

      Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Sunday that the government would abide by the High Court decision regarding Migron.

      “This is an opportunity to say that the Government of Israel, like all citizens of Israel, respects the court’s decisions and acts according to Israeli law. Sometimes even the obvious needs to be stated,” he said.

      He was speaking at the state memorial ceremony for deceased presidents and prime ministers.  

      In a disappointing decision for nationalists, the High Court Sunday threw out a compromise deal between the government and the residents of Migron, and set a new deadline for the eviction of the residents.

      The three judge panel is headed by Supreme Court President Asher Grunis, and includes judges Miriam Naor and Salim Jubran. They gave the government until August 1 to evict the residents. 

      "Now the petitioners are entitled to enjoy the fruits of the verdict," the judges wrote. "They have the right to see the ongoing disruption of their rights end. The public interest in enforcement of the law must also be felt, as must the rule of law and respect for the law."

      The judges said that the compromise with residents of Migron cannot come at the expense of the petitioners. "As will be remembered," they wrote, "we have expressed the wish that the residents of Migron will 'wake up' and accept willingly their obligation not to be perceived as outlaws. We repeat this wish today."

      "The duty of carrying out a verdict is not a matter of choice," the judges continued, driving in their point. "This is a vital part of the rule of law that we are all subordinate to as part of the state of Israel's values as a Jewish and democratic state."

      The residents of Migron reacted to the verdict, saying: "We received the harsh ruling today, which began with the false accusation regarding 'private land' and is ending with the eviction of peace-seeking people. We are certain that the government of Israel and its representative, Minister Benny Begin, will know how to find the proper solution to the situation that has arisen, in which a government sends its loyal citizens to settle and then is forced to evict them by High Court order."

      MIgron was built with government help on land whose ownership is unclear, except for the fact that it is not state land. Peace Now launched a lawsuit before the Supreme Court aimed at destroying the community. Since only Magistrate's Courts adjudicate land ownership in Israel, the question of who owned the land was not decided in the Supreme Court, although it seems that some of it was given by King Hussein to Jordanians who never laid claim to it. Jordan was an occupying power in Judea and Samaria from 1949-1967.

      The compromise, worked out by MK Benny Begin (Likud) with much difficulty, would have had the residents move to a small, nearby area that is uncontested state land and have the present Migron houses used by the government for other purposes. A compromise moving them to a large, new suburb to be built near the existing community of Adam on state land was worked out by the Judea and Samaria Council two years ago, but the residents rejected it, still hoping to save the existing community.

      In both compromises, the residents were to remain in Migron until the alternate houses were built. The compromise was agreed to by both government and residents in order  to avoid both the violence that accompanied the destruction of the houses at Amona in 2006 and the bitter split in the nation that occurred due to the expulsion from the Katif Bloc in 2005.

      The courts, however, made saving MIgron in its present location an impossibility and now have made the new compromise unnachievable.