Saturday, March 17, 2012

France condemns Migron outpost deal


France on Friday condemned a relocation agreement between the government and settlers in the West Bank outpost of Migron, saying the deal "sets an unacceptable precedent."

West Bank outpost [illustrative]

"This agreement, which claims to 'legalize' an illegal fait accompli, sets an unacceptable precedent," said a French Foreign Ministry statement, adding that the move complicates the resumption of the political process.

On Sunday, the fifty Migron families signed the deal to move their outpost, which the high court had ordered dismantled, two kilometers from its current location. As part of the agreement, the government will authorize nearby state land for construction of permanent homes,

"While Israel had pledged, under the road map, to dismantle all outposts, this decision sends a negative signal that runs contrary to the willingness expressed by Israel to reach a two-State solution," the statement said.

The government on Wednesday asked the High Court of Justice to cancel its order to evacuate Migron by the end of the month, asking the court for an extension to allow all 50 Migron families time to build permanent homes on 70 dunams (7 hectares) of state land 2 kilometers away by November 30, 2015.

Right-wing politicians and settler leaders hailed the request as a worthy compromise that respected the rule of law.

Left-wing activists and politicians said it subverted the rule of law and broke Israel’s pledge to the international community not to expand the boundaries of existing settlements.

The proposed new Migron site is under the auspices of the Binyamin Regional Council but it does not belong to any settlement. Fifty of its 70 dunams are now zoned for commercial use.

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