Last updated: 27 July, 2012

Israel court again postpones Migron outpost evacuation

Israel’s Supreme Court on Friday agreed again to postpone the evacuation of the Migron settlement outpost — set for August 1 — by 20 days.

Friday’s decision to postpone the evacuation was the second such delay agreed upon by the court.

On Sunday, the state had asked the court — which had ordered the outpost to be razed — for more time before beginning the evacuation in order to submit documents, following settler claims they had recently bought part of the outpost’s territory.

Israel state attorney’s office also argued that an evacuation during the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan could prove difficult, due to possible retaliatory attacks by settlers.

The court decision on Friday said the state would be able to submit its response by August 19, and that a hearing would take place on August 21. The order to raze Migron has been extended till the hearing, the court said.

Migron, the largest and oldest settlement outpost in the West Bank, was ordered razed by the end of March, since it was built on private Palestinian lands.

But the court had later agreed to extend the deadline to August 1 and Friday’s decision to postpone the evacuation was second such extension of the deadline.

Some Migron families are resisting evacuation claiming they have recently bought some land on the outpost and a ministerial committee formed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked the state to request to allow them to remain there.

But on Sunday the representative of the state attorney’s office, Osnat Mandel, said that a police probe was underway into the possibility that the documents these families submitted claiming they bought the land were fake.

Israel considers settlement outposts built without government approval to be illegal and often sends security personnel to demolish them. They usually consist of little more than a few trailers.

The international community considers all settlements built in the West Bank — including east Jerusalem — to be illegal.