Supreme Court President Dorit Beinish and the honorable Miriam Naor and Salim Joubran ruled Tuesday that the State must evict the illegal outpost Migron, situated in Mateh Binyamin Regional Council by March 2012.
In their ruling, the judges noted that the case of Migron "is one of the most difficult and aberrant cases of illegal outposts brought before this court."
The Supreme Court justices criticized the State, claiming that it has acted to erect the outpost and expand it while disregarding demolition orders and delimitation orders issued by the authorities.
The judges noted that while the difficulties of vacating a large outpost cannot be disregarded, "these difficulties would have been avoided and minimized significantly if the State would have employed effective enforcement methods in the first place and prevented the construction and expansion of the outpost."
Demolition in Migron (Archive photo: Gur Dotan)
Two months ago, the State committed to demolish three permanent structures built in Migron during Passover within 45 days. The decision sparked debate between government officials and Yesha Council representatives, and days before the deadline, Defense Minister Ehud Barak petitioned to the High Court in a request to postpone the demolition due to "operational reasons."
In a hearing held last week, Judges Beinish, Naor and Joubran deplored the State for delaying the demolition of the outpost despite its previous commitments. "You do not have a deadline," said Justice Joubran, "You determine everything by what the residents of Migron and Yesha Council say."
State representative Attorney Osnat Mandel said that if Migron residents refuse to relocate to a new neighborhood that is being built in the West Bank settlement Adam, the State will be forced to evict them. Mandel added that even if this is the case, the eviction "will not be immediate and will take some time."
During the hearing on Tuesday, the judges ruled that they can no longer accept the State's proposal to hinge the outpost's evacuation on the construction of the new neighborhood, as they have yet to receive "an updated timetable for the completion of the relocation plan."
The judges wrote they have made every effort to show restraint and patients despite the clear violation if the law in an effort to pacify internal disputes and in order not to appear as if the disagreement is political in nature and stems from differing views within Israeli public opinion.
In response to the court's decision, Attorney Michael Sfard, who appealed the petition along with Attorney Shlomi Zacharia on behalf of Peace Now, said "It is unfortunate that the evacuation of intruders from private lands requires long legal proceedings.
"As a citizen of the State I am ashamed of the government's immoral plan to establish a neighbourhood of private homes for the residents of Migron, while dozens of thousands throughout the country are currently living in tents,' he added.
Peace Now Secretary General Yariv Oppenheimer said in response to the decision, "The settlers must show responsibility in face of the social and economic situation, and decrease the cost of evacuation by voluntarily leaving in a quiet and orderly manner.
"We intend to urge the government to shelf its controversial plan to provide these law violators with private homes, without publishing a tender. All this is happening while an entire population is on the verge of collapse due to the housing crisis,' he said.
A Yesha Council statement denounced the court's ruling: "The High Court of Justice never misses a chance to rule against the Jewish settlement and throw a match on a powder keg needlessly."