Jewish settlers obey Israeli court order to leave Migron outpost
SOME 50 Jewish families have left their homes at Migron, the West Bank’s biggest outpost, obeying a court order to evacuate by tomorrow’s deadline.
The residents left peacefully but security forces forcefully evicted dozens of youngsters who had come to the site from other West Bank communities to resist the evacuation. Some barricaded themselves in homes, while others climbed on to rooftops.
Eight protesters were in custody suspected of assaulting police.
Migron, north of Jerusalem, was the largest of the approximately 100 West Bank outposts that have been established on hilltops by Jewish militants without government authorisation.
Last week’s high court ruling ended a legal battle that started in 2006 when the left-wing Peace Now petitioned the court on behalf of Palestinians who claimed that Migron had been constructed illegally on their private land.
The court still has to rule on the ownership of one plot of land which, the settlers claim, was legally purchased in recent months, but all the other buildings erected at Migron will be demolished by next week. The state has provided alternative accommodation on another West Bank hilltop a couple of kilometres away.
Migron residents issued a statement blaming the evacuation on the government of prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
“The residents of Migron feel betrayed and pained by this move and protest the miserable, unnecessary devastation about to happen here. We never have, and never will, co-operate with the razing of our community. We call on everyone to protest the terrible destruction condoned by the Likud government.” They vowed that at least two new communities would be built in place of Migron.
Mr Netanyahu welcomed the peaceful evacuation and promised to strengthen the settlement enterprise by building more homes.
Security forces have gone on high alert throughout the West Bank to prevent so-called “price tag” revenge attacks by militant settlers against Palestinians.