This Land Is Their Land
Palestinians win one small battle for their rights.
by Stephen Lendman
Palestine belongs to Palestinians. They're willing to settle for what lies within 1967 borders. It's 22% of what they lost. They also rightfully claim East Jerusalem as their capital. It's theirs, not Israel's.
Israeli settlements are illegal. This article discusses Migron. It's one of dozens of illegal Israeli outposts. Over 100 exist.
They were built without government authorization. International law doesn't distinguish between settlements and outposts. They're all illegal and have no right to exist. Israel spurns legal principles and does what it wishes. Why not when no one intervenes.
Israeli settlements, outposts, military areas, no-go zones, nature reserves, commercial areas, by-pass roads, tourist sites, checkpoints, and other barriers comprise well over 50 of West Bank land and East Jerusalem.
Over half a millions settlers live on stolen Palestinian property. Many occupy illegal outposts, including Migron. It lies northeast of Jerusalem overlooking Route 60. It's Israel's largest outpost.
In 1999, it was built on privately owned Palestinian land. In 2002, it expanded. It's home for over 250 settlers. Israeli authorities never intervene to stop land theft or development. In fact, they aid and abet it.
The Ministry of Construction and Housing spent 4.3 million shekels for Migron's infrastructure. No authorization approved it. In June 2006, Peace Now petitioned Israel's High Court of Justice (HCJ) to dismantle what never should have existed.
Government officials proposed building a neighborhood in Geva Binyamin settlement for Migron residents in exchange for evacuating the outpost.
Settlers said no. At the time, the HCJ refrained from ordering Migron dismantled. Government officials promised to "rapidly and effectively enforce planning and building laws." They also called the outpost "unacceptable."
Nonetheless, residents kept building. Nothing was done to stop them even though the HCJ said Migron violated Palestinians' property rights.
In 1979, the HCJ's Elon Moreh ruling prohibited seizing privately owned Palestinian land for settlement construction. Only so-called state land could be used even though no legal authority justifies classifying it that way.
Following the court ruling, Israel arbitrarily appropriated over 900,000 dunums as state land. It was brazen theft. Doing so violated international law. Palestinians were denied the right to contest loss of their own property.
Israel also invented other new ways to steal land. For example, it appropriated Jordan Valley property belonging to absentee Palestinian owners. Other land was seized. It was used for dozens of settlements. Some were claimed necessary for "military needs." Saying so was subterfuge for theft.