Claims that the Jewish community of Migron is built on "private Palestinian land" are false and misleading.
The area was under the jurisdiction of the Custodian of Absentee Property, a government agency (based on its British predecessor) established to manage lands that were abandoned, uninhabited and unclaimed. The court was asked to reclassify the land as abandoned property, except for one portion which Jews purchased from Palestinians.
When first built more than a decade ago, Migron received the active support of the IDF and other government agencies because of its strategic location – overlooking Highway 60. No one objected.
In 2002, planning, infrastructure and buildings were approved at the highest levels, the Prime Minister's Office and Ministry of Defense; over 50 families presently live there.
Obviously, Migron, like other Jewish communities, has not violated any Israeli law, since that would mean that all those who supported it would be culpable. The Knesset has passed no law prohibiting Jews from settling Judea and Samaria. And, if Jews have violated a law, there seems to be no clear guidelines, or punishment for breaking this "law."
A few years ago, Peace Now and other NGOs tracked down Arabs who claimed to own parts of the area of Migron and supported their legal efforts. Although accepted by the State Prosecutor's office, their documents have never been verified by forensic experts and have been challenged on legal grounds.
The alleged Arab "owners" have rejected generous offers of compensation and expanded alternative sites that more than fulfill the value of Migron's land. Their refusal is understandable, since according to Jordanian and Palestinian Authority law, selling land to Jews is a capital crime. Hundreds of Arab land dealers and those suspected of such transactions have been lynched.
The area of Migron has no agricultural or commercial value, and is far away from any Arab village. Pushed by NGOs like Peace Now, the claimants are political pawns and targets of violence.
Keeping Migron where it is and compensating Arab claimants by government decree – which would hopefully exempt them from punishment -- would be a humanitarian solution that serves both sides.
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