The Israeli Today (Israel Hayom) Newspaper claimed that it received information stating that more than 80% of the lands, where the illegal Migron settlement is built, were recently purchased from the Palestinians in the West Bank, in an attempt to avoid the implementation of a High Court order for the settlement’s evacuation by August 1st this year.The paper said that a source involved in what it called the “transaction”, said that the lands in question are currently completely legal, as the purchase was allegedly made in a valid legal manner.
It added that the alleged Palestinian sellers and the Israeli purchasers have kept the identity of the American Jewish millionaire who donated the money for buying the lands, anonymous.
According to the report, the Jewish millionaire donated hundreds of thousands of US dollars to enable the settlers buy the lands from more than one Palestinian land owner, and that the deal was conducted it utmost secrecy that even the settlers of Migron did not know about it until the media published the story.
The settlers are hoping that purchasing the lands from the Palestinians will void an Israeli High Court ruling ordering the removal of the illegal outpost, especially since, according to the report, most of the lands are now legally owned by Jews, and only four out of seventy buildings are now on Palestinian-owned lands.
The paper added that the “only fear now is for the lives of the Palestinians who sold their lands to the settlers, as they will likely be considered to be traitors to their people” and added that the police spokesperson of Migron settlement, confirmed the purchase and said that Israeli Education Minister is aware of the deal.
There are fifty settler families living in the illegal Migron settlement that was built on privately-owned Palestinian lands in 1999.
Israeli Peace Now Movement filed, in 2006, a petition to the Israeli High Court of Justice demanding the removal of the illegal outpost, and the return of the lands to their Palestinian owners.
The court acknowledged the fact that the illegal settlement was built on privately-owned Palestinian lands, but did not issue a final ruling until August of last year when it ruled that the settlers must evacuate the outpost by the end of March 2012.
But the Israeli government failed to implement the High Court ruling and continued to hold talks with the settlers in an attempt to find a solution.
The Israel Today paper said that the settlers in Migron finally signed an agreement to relocate to the nearby Givat HaYekev settlement, and the agreement was filed with the Israeli High Court in order to issue a ruling to delay the demolition for three years until new homes are built for them in Givat HaYekev. But the High Court ruled that all homes in Migron must be evacuated by August 1st this year.
With the claimed purchase of the Palestinian lands, the Israeli government will not be “legally” obliged to implement the High Court ruling, Israeli sources claimed.
But on the international level, and the Fourth Geneva Convention to which Israel is a signatory, settlements built on occupied lands are illegal, therefore, Israel’s settlements in the occupied West Bank, including in and around occupied East Jerusalem, are illegal.
Settlements they also violate International Law, especially the Fourth Geneva convention that forbids an occupying power from moving “all or part of its population into territory it occupies”.