In a last-minute attempt to prevent the evacuation of Migron, the largest illegal outpost in Judea and Samaria, representatives of the outpost recently bought more than 80 percent of its land from Palestinians claiming ownership over it, Israel Hayom has learned.
Residents of Migron hope that the move will now render unnecessary the High Court's order to evacuate the outpost by 1 August.
According to a source involved in the transaction, the land was acquired "in a completely legal and valid manner." While representatives of the community have refrained from publishing details of the transaction, the source said "more than one seller" was involved.
Both sides involved in the deal have also kept the identify of the donor secret, but revealed that he is a Jewish-Zionist American philanthropist who paid hundreds of thousand dollars for the land.
The deal was kept under such heavy secrecy that even Migron residents did not know all of the details of the transaction and were only likely to find out about it on Thursday.
Jewish leaders of the transaction hope the move will prevent the evacuation of Migron, but at this stage they were not able to say if the purchase of the land meets all the legal requirements and if it will satisfy the High Court.
Sources involved in the deal hope that the issue will be settled in their favor now that the vast majority of the land is owned by Jews, and only four buildings out of 70 remain on land not owned by Jews.
It is within this context that those behind the transaction wished to emphasize that, in the case of the illegal structures in the Ulpana neighborhood of Beit El, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said, "if it is discovered that the acquisition of the land was done legally and that the court approves of it, this will of course open the door to other solutions."
Those involved in the transaction also emphasized that the deal was not intended to defy the government, but rather meant to provide a creative and acceptable way to satisfy all parties. "This is a win-win solution for everyone. The residents can continue living in peace, the Palestinians receive compensation for their land, the rule of law is maintained and the government can resolve the problem," one source said.
There is now concern over the lives of the Palestinians who sold their land, and who may now be labeled as traitors in the eyes of other Palestinians.
Migron community spokesman Itai Chemo confirmed the reports over the transaction, and said, "we are still examining what our future steps will be."
Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar also confirmed last night that "he would be informed" of the details of the transaction.
Migron, which comprises some 50 families, is located in the Binyamin Regional Council. It was established in 1999 and made headlines after reports surfaced that the outpost was built on private Palestinian land. In 2006, Peace Now petitioned the High Court to evacuate the outpost and return the land to its Palestinian owners. The state recognized the court's ruling that Migron is located on private land, but requested additional time to try reach a solution with the outpost's residents.
After years of discussions and delays, the High Court ruled last August that the state must evacuate the outpost within eight months, i.e. until the end of March this year. During those months, the Defense Ministry held intensive talks with representatives of the residents to formulate an agreed solution, until the sides finally agreed to relocated the outpost to Givat HaYekev, a few hundred meters from Migron. All Migron residents signed the agreement and it was submitted to the High Court with a request by the state to postpone the demolition of the buildings there by three years until the new neighborhood is built.
However, the High Court rejected the state's request and ruled that the outpost must be evacuated by August 1.