The residents of Migron on Sunday signed an agreement according to which they will voluntarily evacuate the West Bank community and relocate to state-owned land on a hill nearby.
"Had we refused to sign, Migron would have been erased from the map in less than a week. We didn't want our children to have to endure such a trauma," said Itay Harel, a resident of the settlement.
The deal was signed by Migron's residents and Minister Benny Begin at the community's synagogue.
The negotiations on Migron's evacuation were conducted over an18-month period, but a dispute regarding the demolition of structures in the outpost prevented an agreement. The final deal states that the residents will move to state-owned land situated about two kilometers from Migron, while the vacant structures will remain intact until the Supreme Court rules on the land's ownership.
'Private land claim is bogus.' The Migron agreement (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
"The dream was to settle the Land of Israel," Harel told Ynet. "This dream materialized, and the community grew until it became a home to 50 families and 300 people. Everyone knows the claim that Migron was built on private land is bogus."
"But now, because of the High Court's ruling, we have found ourselves in a very painful situation – unjustifiably. To my children I explain that we Jewish brothers who make mistakes and mislead," he said.
Another Migron resident, Efrat Sheetrit, said "you have to keep in mind that everyone here serves in the IDF – some are senior officers – and they do not want another confrontation (with Israeli security forces).
"We settled here at the service of our country. All of the infrastructure here – electricity, water and roads – is state-owned. This is not an outpost with two caravans. We live here because we believe the Land of Israel belongs to the nation of Israel," she said.
Peace Now head Yariv Oppenheimer, who submitted the High Court petition demanding to evacuate Migron, said while negotiations were still ongoing that building a "new and isolated settlement deep in the heart of the territories, goes against Israel's interest and is aimed at placating an extremist settler minority."
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