Children of Israeli settlers wait for the school bus in the settlement of Migron in the occupied West Bank on August 28
Children of Israeli settlers wait for the school bus in the settlement of Migron in the occupied West Bank on August 28. Israel's Supreme Court has ordered that the largest wildcat settlement in the occupied West Bank, Migron, be evacuated by September 4, according to the text of a ruling made public on Wednesday. © Menahem Kahana - AFP/File
Children of Israeli settlers wait for the school bus in the settlement of Migron in the occupied West Bank on August 28
AFP
Last updated: August 29, 2012

Israeli court orders evacuation of settler outpost

Israel's Supreme Court has ordered that the largest wildcat settlement in the occupied West Bank be evacuated by September 4, according to the text of a ruling made public on Wednesday.

The dwellings at Migron will then be "moved" before September 11, said the ruling by the court, which had already agreed that the evacuation could be postponed and had been set initially for August 21.

The court rejected an appeal by 17 families who argued that they had legally bought from Palestinians part of the land on which the settlement stands.

The judges postponed for three months the destruction of dwellings on the land to allow the examination of documents that the settlers had presented in support of their claim of ownership of the land.

The anti-settler movement Peace Now welcomed the Supreme Court decision, calling it a "victory for the state of law."

But settlers angrily condemned the ruling.

"This is a black day for the state of Israel," Migron settlers said in a statement accusing the government of having "done nothing to stop this brutal rape."

The judges failed "to keep their ears open to the arguments" of settlers, said the main settlers' council for the West Bank.

On July 27, the Supreme Court agreed for a second time to postpone the evacuation of Migron -- set for August 1 -- by 20 days.

Migron, the largest and oldest settlement outpost in the West Bank, was ordered razed by the end of March, since it was built on private Palestinian land.

Israel considers settlement outposts built without government approval to be illegal and often sends security personnel to demolish them. They usually consist of little more than a few trailers.

The international community considers all settlements built in the West Bank -- including east Jerusalem -- to be illegal.

More than 340,000 Israelis live in settlements in the West Bank, and another 200,000 live in east Jerusalem that was occupied by Israel in 1967 and annexed.

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