Last week, the High Court of Justice heard a petition filed by Peace Now in 2006 that demanded to evict the outpost of Migron, claiming it was built on Palestinian land. Since the petition was filed, two of the land owners passed away, yet the State had not removed the outpost. Ahead of the hearing, it submitted an affidavit, signed by Government Secretary Zvi Hauser, detailing what it has been doing to promote Migron’s evacuation.
In the same week where the housing protest peaked, with Netanyahu himself admitting that he saw the distress (although nothing was done about it for two and a half years) and referring in a press conference to bureaucratic obstacles that hinder construction – we were presented with an example of how the government deals with such issues when settlers are involved.
The affidavit describes how the State fights bureaucracy and political pressures while building a whole new neighborhood in the settlement of Adam for the benefit of the Migron lawbreakers. For the first time, we were told about the intention to sell the new homes without a tender.
“Signing the above agreements,” says clause 22, “will hinge upon an exemption from a tender…on the basis of written requests to be submitted by Migron residents to the Defense Ministry. The Defense Ministry shall hand over a document…that will include the names of Migron residents who seek to be granted an exemption from a tender. On the basis of this document, the official in charge of government and abandoned property shall seek to elicit the exemption from a tender.”
Now pay attention to how long this process will take, in a country where one needs to wait 10 years for construction permits: “The estimate is that the process of receiving the exemption and signing the agreements will take about three months.”
The Migron story is a small illustration of a big policy, says Peace Now Secretary General Yariv Oppenheimer. Those who take over private land in the territories do not only avoid eviction – the State offers them a rapid solution. The protestors at the tents, says Oppenheimer, are hereby invited to build outposts in the settlements and then watch as the State enlists to the cause of finding housing solutions for them.
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