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Done Deal?

The Migron outpost Photo: Lowshot.com
The Migron outpost Photo: Lowshot.com
 
Minister Benny Begin Photo: Gil Yohanan
Minister Benny Begin Photo: Gil Yohanan
 
 

Minister: Gov't reaches agreement with Migron outpost residents

Benny Begin says settlers agree to move outpost but settlers themselves say no agreement has been signed over fate of disputed outpost

Attila Somfalvi
Published: 03.01.12, 21:58 / Israel News

Less than a week after negotiations fell apart, Minister Benny Begin announced that the government and the residents of the Migron outpost have reached an agreement on the relocation of the outpost residences – and their legalization.

 

"We have a format that has been agreed upon between the government and the people and residents of Migron," Begin announced on Thursday."In principle, it is the same agreement I presented to reporters on Monday," Begin noted.

 

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Yet the settlers have stated that they have not yet signed the draft agreement. "From our perspective there is no agreement. We're still waiting for Minister Begin's response to the draft," they said in a statement.

 

The Justice Ministry stated that "At this stage discussions are being held with the Migron outpost residents, and we have no intention to discuss their contents."

 

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.

 

The deal was set to be signed this week but negotiations ultimately failed. The outpost is currently on disputed land and no decision has been made over the land's ownership.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Habayit Hayehudi party Chairman Minister Daniel Hershkovitz welcomed the agreement and said: "The agreement is a victory for all those who love settlements over those who incite for its destruction."

 

Yair Altman contributed to the report

 

 

 

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