Negotiations between settlers and the government's representative Minister Benny Begin on the evacuation of the Migron outpost have broken down, Ynet learned. The settlers said that Begin withdrew the understandings the two sides had agreed on.
Earlier this month, it was reported that the sides reached a compromise whereby the outpost will be moved to public land some 2 kilometers from its current location. The Civil Administration was to decide what to do with Migron's permanent structures.
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The deal was set to be signed this week but negotiations ultimately failed. Is has yet to be officially determined who owns the land on which the Migron outpost sits.
According to agreements reached between the parties, the court was meant to rule on who owns the land before any permanent structures would be razed. It was also agreed that the residents would move to the new location only after the completion of the construction work. The government promised to finish planning the construction of permanent structures in the new location within nine months, after which infrastructure work will commence.
Benny Begin during press briefing (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
During a press briefing at the Prime Minister's Office on Monday Begin called on the settlers to accept the agreement but added that the government cannot fulfill all of their "hopes and wishes."
He further noted, "The residents of Migron are not being asked to agree to every clause and word in the government's statement. All they are being asked is not to continue to build, and move to the new location after their houses are ready." He said he hopes the sides can present the agreement to the Supreme Court this week.
Residents of Migron also commented on the break down in talks and said that the draft agreement states that the Civil Administration will raze the outpost's structures and called on PM Netanyahu and Begin not to pursue demolition. "There is no reason to raze the houses in Migron," Migron spokesman Itay Hemo said.
Hemo downplayed the reported disagreements with the government. "There are slight phrasing problems in the agreement but this cannot be presented as disagreement," he said.
He stressed that should it be determined that Migron sits on private Palestinian land "we shall take a step backwards and the plot will be given to the owners."
Aerial view of Migron (Photo: Lowshot.com)
While elements in the defense establishments criticized the settlers, right-wing politicians pointed a finger at Begin and threatened to bring up the 'Migron bil'' to a Knesset preliminary vote on Wednesday.
Binyamin Regional Council's Migron is the biggest outpost in the West Bank and includes 60 structures. Palestinian residents and Peace Now petitioned the High Court against the outpost's legality in October 2006. Last August judges ruled that the State must clear Migron by the end of March 2012.
Negotiations on the evacuation have been going on for the past year and a half, during which various compromises were raised. The dispute over house razing ultimately prevented any agreement from being signed.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged Migron residents to accept a compromise similar to the current agreement. "This is a good proposal, it does not solve all the problems, but can solve the Migron problem," he said.
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