No Settlement has Been Evacuated since the Disengagement in 2005
Today the Israeli Supreme court published its decision in Peace Now’s extensive Court Petition to dismantle the outpost of Migron(which in almost every means is a settlement. It has 60 housing structures and some 250 people).
Peace Now first petitioned the court over 5 years ago requesting the state stop the expansion of the outpost and immediately evacuate the settlers, in particular as the settlement was built on private Palestinian land.
The justice system declined from making any decisions in this time period, relying on goverment promises of upcoming evacuations and agreement with the settlers.
However the court’s patience ran thin last week when the state requested another extension, this one asking for an additional 16 months. The State presented a timeline, which lackeded any deadline, to construct alternative housing for the settlers, although the State noted the fact that the settlers had still not agreed to cooperate with the move. We intend to pressure the government to shelve the outrageous plan to construct private homes, without a tender, as a reward to the Migron settlers for vacating the land, all in a time of public crises over housing shortages.
Summary of Supreme Court Decision:
• The Supreme Court ruled today, August 2, 2011, that the State has to evacuate the illegal outpost of Migron within eight months, by March 31, 2012.
• This is the first time that the Supreme Court has ordered the evacuation of an outpost. So far the Court has refrained from issuing rulings, instead deliberately waiting for the State to evacuate the illegal outposts.
• Supreme Court President Beinish wrote: “This court made every effort to find restraint and patience despite the blatant violations, due to the need to resolve issues peacefully among those involved. We also have a desire to avoid any political dispute between the petitioners and those involved who are vying for public opinion. .. however it is our job and it is our duty as judges to rule (decisions) ”
• Peace Now: the settlers must take responsibility for economic and social situation in the country, save the costs of evacuation, and immediately evacuate the outpost in a calm and orderly manner.
This case proves that the Israeli Supreme Court is forced to be the one that upholds the rule of law in the West Bank. It is now up to the government to deal with the problem that it itself created and prove that Israel is a democracy and not an anarchy – and to respect and ratify the decision.
Peace Now calls upon the settlers to accept the decision of the courts gracefully and to begin to evacuate Migron. Although successive governments are willing to sacrifice the rule of law for political reasons – Peace Now is satisfied with this decision by the Court and is grateful that Israeli citizens can rely on the Supreme Court to be the savior of democracy and justice in Israel.