The High Court of Justice rejected on Sunday the compromise agreement
reached between the State and the residents of the Migron outpost in the West Bank.
The judges, headed by Supreme Court President Asher Grunis, ruled that the outpost must be evacuated by August 1. The annulled compromise deal stated that the outpost's residents would voluntarily relocate to state-owned land situated on a nearby hill within three-and-a-half years.
In its ruling, the court chastised the State for failing to evacuate Migron.
Grunis said the ruling is an obligation, not a choice. "This is a necessary component of the rule of law to which all are subject, as part of Israel's values as a Jewish
and democratic state," he said.
The justices said the state had made it clear all along that settlements cannot be built on private Palestinian land. "As the state has made clear, no one is authorized to permit the establishment of a settlement on private land," they said in the ruling.
"The residents asked that the court accept the State's request to (delay the evacuation). Just as they would have certainly honored a decision to (delay the evacuation), they must now honor the decision to reject the request," the justices added.
Minister Benny Begin, who represented the government in the negotiations with the settlers, said it was a mistake to establish Migron on private land in the first place, "but we understood the residents' sense that they were on a mission. This is why we wanted the compromise agreement."
Attorney Michael Sfard, representing the Palestinian petitioners who claimed ownership of the land, said that by adhering to the compromise agreement the State would be "surrendering" to the Migron settlers. Delayed justice is not justice.
"Today the court made it clear to authorities that no one – including the government and the settlers - is above the law," he said.