Hebron: Activists arrested over house occupation (JERUSALEM POST) By JPOST COM STAFF 04/02/12)
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The IDF arrested approximately 30 Palestinians and left-wing
activists on Sunday for illegally occupying a residence in Hebron. No
injuries were reported in the course of the arrests.
The activists occupied a house near Beit Romano, Hebron, in response
to a group of right-wing activists who entered illegally into a
different residence that Palestinians claim belongs to them, in the
general area of the Cave of the Patriarchs.
The Palestinians arrested Sunday claimed that they had rented the
building from the municipality and that they had the right to occupy
Although the two occupied residences are both in Hebron they are not
physically located in the same building.
Previously, the IDF charged that the 15 settler families who moved
into the vacant Palestinian apartment building last Thursday 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
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.
A spokeswoman for Judea and Samaria police said they were checking
the authenticity of the purchase. She said that Palestinians continue
to claim ownership of the structure, which they say is in the process
of being divided between heirs of the original owner.
According to MK Uri Ariel (National Union), 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.
The Palestinian police did not confirm the arrest.
Israeli security sources lashed out at the families
for “irresponsibly” making such a move amid the tense atmosphere
surrounding the Global March to Jerusalem and other planned marches.
In light of this, a security source said, moving into the apartment
building was “an unnecessary provocation and untimely, from a
reasonable point of view.”
“It could have a negative effect on the security situation, due to
the way it was carried out,” the source added.
Settlers did not consult with security forces before moving in to the
building, the source said.
The IDF and border police have blocked off the area around the
structure. According to the police spokeswoman, the families who
moved in can enter and leave the building, but may not have visitors.
Neither the security source nor the spokeswoman commented on whether
residents would be forcibly removed.
“We have frozen the situation,” the source said. Tovah Lazaroff
contributed to this report (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 04/02/12)
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