All residents of Migron must leave the West Bank outpost within six days, the High Court of Justice ruled Wednesday evening, and all but six of the modular homes, or caravans, must be removed by September 11.
The remaining six caravans, on Block 26, Plot 10, are situated on land allegedly purchased recently by a settlement group called al-Wattan.
The court frowned upon the notion of the land having been built on before the purchase but granted the state its request for three months to investigate whether the purchase of the land was done legally.
The original Palestinian appellants to the court claim that signatures on land deeds were fraudulent and that the land was never sold.
Migron was established in 2001 and questions over its legality first came before the court in 2006. At the time, the state, confident that the entire settlement was situated on privately owned Palestinian land, assured the court that it would evacuate all residents “within several months.”
Migron, the largest and one of the first outposts in the West Bank, has taken on symbolic meaning for all sides.
Michael Sfard, a lawyer representing the original Palestinian appellants, told the three-judge panel Tuesday that the outpost, an unauthorized settlement, was “a symbol of defiance against the rule of law.”
To settlers, the hilltop that looms over the road north from Jerusalem on Route 60 has historical relevance – King Saul is depicted in the Bible as having camped there with his army while defending Jerusalem – and a parcel of land that proved itself as crucial security-wise during the Second Intifada.
Shuki Sat, one of the founders, who lives in a caravan on Plot 10, told the Times of Israel after Tuesday’s hearing that the land in question had been purchased “over the course of the last few months” and that he was confident that he and his six children would continue to live there.