Migron Residents: Ball Is in Gov't Court

"We demand that the Prime Minister carry out the agreements and understandings," say residents.

Gil Ronen ,

Israel news photo: Flash 90

Residents of Migron held a news conference Monday, one day after the High Court refused to countenance the agreements they had reached with the government about a gradual relocation of their community to a nearby location.

Itai Harel, one of the founders of Migron, showed journalists an aerial photograph taken before the community was established. "In all of the area of Migron, one does not see a single tree or house in the photos," he explained. No one ever thought it was his. The Jordanian government registered it as someone's, but no one saw himself as having been deprived of his property until Peace Now approached them. 

"The government has reached compromises with us; we demand that the Prime Minister carry out the agreements and understandings and carry out everything that we discussed," he added.

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. 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.

A first compromise, worked out by the Judea and Samaria Council, would have built 1450 dwellings as a suburb of the community of Adam, but was rejected by the residents, who still hoped to save the existing community.

After the Supreme Court ruling, another 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. That 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 may have made the new compromise unachievable.