MKs demand PM rescind ´Beit Hamachpela´ evacuation order (JERUSALEM POST) By JPOST.COM STAFF, TOVAH LAZAROFF 04/02/12)
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A number of high-level members of Knesset condemned the order of
evacuation facing settlers in the "Beit Hamachpela" (House of the
Patriarchs) apartment building, labeling the move "underhanded"
and "unacceptable," and calling for the the prime minister to
intervene and rescind the order.
Earlier Monday, the IDF demanded that West Bank Hebron settlers leave
an apartment building in their city, called "Beit Hamachpela" (House
of the Patriarchs) by 3 p.m. on Tuesday, giving the settlers 24 hours
to evacuate the home.
On Thursday, some 15 Jewish families from Hebron and the nearby
Kiryat Arba settlement moved into the vacant three-story apartment
building without the proper permits.
The Hebron families said they purchased the apartment building from
its Palestinian owner and moved in at this time because the structure
was vacant, and they feared Palestinians would take over the
building. It is located across a small park from the Cave of the
Patriarchs, in a Palestinian neighborhood under Israeli military
The police and the Civil Administration were investigating the
legality of the sale.
The IDF, however, ordered the families out of the home because it
said their presence disturbs the public order.
Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein protested the move. "It is
unacceptable," he said.
MK Michael Ben Ari noted that the IDF´s excuse could be used to
evacuate any Judea and Samaria resident from his or her home.
Right-wing MKs, particularly from the Knesset Land of Israel lobby
have called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to revoke the IDF
Interior Minister Eli Yishai wrote to Netanyahu Monday afternoon
asking him to intervene.
"I ask you to instruct the defense establishment to exercise
discretion before any future action is taken," Yishai wrote in a
letter to Netanyahu. Saying the house in question was bought at full
price, Yishai said the Jewish families entered it legally.
The government, the interior minister added, should strengthen and
not make life more difficult for Jewish residents of Hebron. "I ask
that you personally review the facts in a fair and balanced fashion."
The head of the Council for Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip said
the evacuation order amounts to a distortion of justice and
"The request to evacuate the ´Beit Hamachpela´ (House of the
Patriarchs) after its purchase was reviewed and deemed sound is a
total distortion of justice, and intolerable discrimination," Dani
Dayan said Monday via a written statement.
"It carries the name of security in vain," he charged.
Dayan compared the situation in Hebron to that of the Migron outpost,
where the High Court of Justice ordered the state to evacuate
settlers living there because they were occupying land classified as
belonging to private Palestinians.
"In Migron they explained to us that the right to property is
sacred... but when the owners are Jews, then all of this is
forgotten," Dayan said.
Netanyahu is already scheduled to hold a ministerial meeting on the
matter on Tuesday.
Education Minister Gideon Sa´ar decried the fact that the IDF
decision came prior to Netanyahu´s scheduled ministerial meeting,
adding that "if the house was purchased legally, there is no
justification for evacuating the residents."
On Sunday, attorneys for the families met with representatives from
the Civil Administration and the Attorney-Generalís Office for Judea
After the meeting, one of the lawyers sent a notice to the press
saying the Civil Administration had confirmed the authenticity of the
However, the Civil Administration still had not authorized it, he
In Hebron, all such sales must be approved by the Administration.
Since Thursday, Border Police have blocked off the building and only
the families who moved in, and politicians, have been allowed access.
(© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 04/02/12)
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