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Israel: high court orders removal of West Bank outpost

Israeli settlement, Palestinians grazing sheep nearby
delayed gratification

The Supreme Court of Israel on Aug. 2 issued for the first time an order for the Israeli government to dismantle an illegal outpost in the West Bank. The order calls for Migron, the largest "illegal" outpost in the West Bank, to be razed by the end of March 2012. The action came as the result of a petition filed by Peace Now in 2006 calling for the court to order Migron to be dismantled. In response the government had decided to remove the flagship settlement outpost (established by the Binyamin Regional Council) by August 2008, but later reached a compromise with settlers that delayed the razing until the state could build them a new neighborhood in a nearby settlement. However, the delay only allowed more houses to be built, and the Court noted during deliberations that the intended two-year postponement had actually turned into an indefinite delay.

Approximately 50 families, about 300 residents, currently live on the hilltop outpost, which is about five kilometers from Jerusalem. Few of the scores of settlement outposts that have spread across the West Bank in recent decades have been built with official government approval, but many have goverment-funded access to roads and electricity and water hookups. Migron in particular is an unauthorized outpost sitting atop privately owned Palestinian land.

From Jurist, Aug. 5. Used with permission.


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