Migron outpost sale papers were forged, police say

Remaining buildings at settlement to be removed by Wednesday; source of fake documents unclear

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

File: Destroyed buildings at the illegal outpost of Migron on September 12, 2012. (Oren Nahshon/Flash90)
File: Destroyed buildings at the illegal outpost of Migron on September 12, 2012. (Oren Nahshon/Flash90)

Documents purporting to show that settlers had legally purchased from Palestinians the land upon which they established the Migron outpost were forgeries, the police said on Sunday.

The papers were provided to the High Court of Justice by Al-Watan, a subsidiary of the West Bank development company Amana, as part of a petition by settlers to avert the final demolition of the outpost, which Palestinians say was built on their land.

Last week, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein instructed police to reopen an investigation into the authenticity of the purchase documents relating to the tract where Migron was set up.

Now that police have concluded the papers are false, the remaining buildings at the outpost are to be removed by Wednesday this week, state prosecutor Aner Helman said.

Police have yet to determine who forged the papers.

Migron was first established in 1999 and eventually grew to a population of some 300, despite not having official government authorization.

The 2005 Sasson Report, compiling the conclusions of a government investigation into unauthorized outposts, said that the Housing Ministry had injected some NIS 4 million ($1.15 million) into developing Migron.

The outpost was dogged by claims from local Palestinians and Israeli human rights activists that the land was owned by Palestinians, and authorities evacuated its residents in September 2012, following a court order. The residents were then moved to a tract of state land two kilometers away.

Three of the structures at the site had already been dismantled by the IDF in 2011, but the remaining buildings were left standing pending a final outcome in legal proceedings that were meant to clarify whether or not the settlers had purchased the land.

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