The High Court of Justice heard two requests from residents of the contested West Bank outpost Migron on Tuesday, in the latest chapter of an ongoing legal dispute regarding the legality and evacuation of the site, which was determined to have been built on private Palestinian land.
The first petition was from a group of 33 Migron families who have signed an agreement to voluntarily evacuate in exchange for alternative housing. The families asked for an extension until the site of their new homes, the nearby Givat Hayekev, is ready.
According to Hebrew media reports, the new housing units are largely completed but have not yet passed a final safety inspection.
The second petition was from 17 other Migron families, who contend that their land was in fact purchased legally from a Palestinian landowner and have refused to sign an evacuation agreement.
The state said during proceedings on Tuesday that it needed several more days to complete preparations in Givat Hayekev, but that it wanted all 50 families to evacuate Migron in the coming days. Once the evacuation is complete, it intends to raze 33 of the temporary homes and take another 90 days to examine the claims of those who live in the remaining 17 homes.
A final decision from the High Court is expected with the next few days.
Migron, the largest West Bank outpost, was acknowledged by the state to be built on private Palestinian land, and the court ordered its evacuation and demolition earlier this year. In July, residents of the outpost petitioned the court to delay the evacuation, arguing that they had purchased roughly half the land the outpost sits on from its Palestinian owner. The police began investigating the claim following a complaint filed by the landowner.
Also in July, a ministerial committee decided to support the petition to delay evacuation. The residents of Migron have stated that the court decision ignored that recommendation.
The government petitioned the High Court of Justice last month to grant it a 30-day extension for the evacuation of the outpost, saying the army could not carry out that mission during the month-long Muslim holiday of Ramadan and that new housing had yet to be completed for the families set to be evicted.
Both the IDF and the settler leadership have announced they have taken steps to avoid a violent confrontation over the situation.