British Billionaire Helped Illegal Outpost Survive

By Haaretz

Published April 06, 2012.

In response to a 2006 Peace Now petition to evacuate the Migron outpost in the West Bank, the High Court of Justice ruled in 2007 that the land on which the Migron people were living was privately owned by Palestinians and the outpost had to be evacuated within a few months. It can be exclusively revealed here that the Migron settlers consequently organized a deal to buy land there with the help of English billionaire Cyril Stein.

Stein, who died in February 2011, was a North London Jew who made his fortune from gambling (turning Ladbrokes into a multibillion business ). He funded the $100 million Mamilla complex in Jerusalem, and donated a lot of money to settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. In 2007, a Palestinian intermediary offered a deal to the Migron settlers: they could buy 25 dunams of land at the site for $75,000. The documents show the sides met in September 2007 at Stein’s apartment in Mamilla. Stein signed a contract with the fixer and immediately transferred the land to the Migron cooperative organization.

Foreign residents are forbidden from buying lands in the West Bank, and the Migron settlers say they bought it. Of course, they have been claiming throughout that there are no Palestinian owners of the land. Public Diplomacy Minister Yuli Edelstein also discussed Migron this week: “There are no owners here,” he said. “Okay, if some poor fellow with a family, children and grandchildren had come along and said I have nothing to eat, help me, but here there are no owners. There is a provocation here by some anti-Zionist organizations. I would be glad to acknowledge the owners if they existed.”

For more, go to Haaretz.com



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