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IDF: Settlers in Hebron building are security risk (JERUSALEM POST) By TOVAH LAZAROFF 03/29/12)Source: http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=264020 JERUSALEM POST JERUSALEM POST Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
The IDF charged that the 15 settler families who moved into a vacant Palestinian apartment building in the West Bank city of Hebron early Thursday morning could create a security risk.

The three-story stone structure is located by a small park near the Cave of the Patriarchs, in a Palestinian neighborhood under Israeli control.

Shlomo Levinger, who moved there with his seven-children said that a number of Hebron Jews had bought the building from its Palestinian owner months ago.

Judea and Samaria police spokeswoman said they were checking the authenticity of the purchase. She said that Palestinians continue to claim ownership of the structure, which they is in the process of being divided between heirs of the original owner.

According to MK Uri Ariel, however, the Palestinian police had arrested the Palestinian property owner who sold the building to the Jewish families, an act which is illegal under the PA and punishable by death.

Security sources lashed out at the families for “irresponsibly” making such a move in the tense atmosphere that exists the day before the Global March to Jerusalem.

“It is an unnecessary provocation and untimely, from a reasonable point of view,” a security source said.

“It could have a negative effect on the security situation, due to the way it was carried out,” the source said.

The source added that the settlers did not consult with them before moving in.

The IDF and border police have blocked off the area around the structure. According to the policewoman the families who moved can leave and enter the building, but no one can visit them.

Neither the source nor the policewoman commented on whether residents would be forcibly removed.

“We have frozen the situation,” a security source.

Levinger said that the families who are from Hebron and nearby Kiryat Arba had not known of the Global March.

The timing of the move, he said, had to do with their fear that Palestinians would take over the building if it remained vacant.

“It was hard to leave our homes right before Passover,” he said.

Levinger’s father, Moshe, who is a rabbi made headlines in 1968 on April 4, just before Passover that year, when he checked into the Park Hotel in Hebron for the holiday with a group of Jews.

Once there, they announced, that they planned to rebuild the city’s Jewish community, which had been destroyed after the 1929 massacre in which 67 Hebron Jews were killed by their Arab neighbors.

They left the hotel only after working out an agreement to create the nearby settlement of Kiryat Arba.

A number of right wing parliamentarians visited the building in solidarity with the families.

MK Uri Ariel (National Union) said, “It is clear to me, without a shadow of a doubt, that this is Jewish property that was legally purchased.

He called on the security forces to rescue the former Palestinian building owner, whose life is now in danger.

National Union MKs Arye Eldad and Michael Eldad said that moving into the building was a Zionist act and only those who though the land belonged to Arabs could see it as a provocation. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 03/29/12)

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