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September 02, 2012

Israel Evacuates West Bank Settler Outpost

by Robert Berger

JERUSALEM – Israel has evacuated Jewish settlers from an outpost in the occupied West Bank after a long legal case.
 
Some 300 Jewish settlers gathered their belongings and left their homes in the West Bank outpost of Migron. The evacuation was ordered by Israel’s Supreme Court, which ruled a year ago that the outpost was built on Palestinian-owned land and was illegal.
 
Most of the settlers left peacefully, but some youths who had barricaded themselves in a trailer home were dragged away by Israeli police. 
 
The settlers accused the Israeli government of betraying the biblical "Land of Israel."
 
Migron resident Itai Chemo said Israel’s leadership has failed the Jewish people, but he saw a silver lining. He said that in place of Migron, two more settlements will be established.
 
Israel's government has already built temporary housing on West Bank land for the evacuated settlers, and it has promised that a permanent community will be built nearby.
 
For the Palestinian landowners, it was the end of a long legal battle and struggle.
Abed al-Mounem Mouatan said it deeply pained him every day as he saw the Migron settlement from his house. He said he never thought that he would see the day when the settlers would leave.
 
But Palestinian officials say this small evacuation is not enough.
 
The Migron case involved a settlers' outpost that had not been authorized by the Israeli government. Palestinians and much of the international community deem all Israeli settlements in the West Bank as illegal. 
 
Israel says it expects to keep major settlements in any future peace deal with the Palestinians.