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Settlers: ‘We will resist forceful evacuation of Hebron house’ (TIMES OF ISRAEL) By ASHER ZEIGER 04/02/12)Source: http://www.timesofisrael.com/settlers-ordered-to-evacuate-the-hebron-house-by-tuesday-afternoon/ TIMES OF ISRAEL TIMES OF ISRAEL Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
The settlers living in the disputed house in Hebron known as Beit Hamachpela said on Monday that they will resist evacuation of their home if the military uses force.

“At this point we’re expecting the use of force,” one of the settlers told Channel 10 News.

Earlier on Monday, the Civil Administration announced that it had given the families until 3 p.m. on Tuesday to vacate the premises.

Several Likud ministers immediately criticized the order, saying it preempted a prime ministerial discussion of the matter.

On Sunday, the settlers brought records of the sale, including the deed to the house and money transfer records, to the military authorities. The records must be approved by Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Military sources said Monday that by entering the house without that formal approval, the settlers were breaking the law.

The settlers rejected the Civil Administration claim that they are disturbing the peace, and stated that the Civil Administration had yet to determine whether the sale of the building was legal. However, the eviction notice states that the decision came after examining all the findings which were given to the authorities, and considering all of the circumstances surrounding the case. The area has been declared a restricted military zone.

The eviction notice also cites the need to maintain the status quo, emphasizing the need to avoid friction between the Jewish and Palestinian residents of the city.

According to Haaretz, on Sunday the IDF also demanded an immediate eviction of the settlers from the house.

Dozens of Israelis entered the empty three-story house, located next to the Cave of the Patriarchs, last Wednesday in an attempt to cement claims of ownership on the property. The settlers claimed they purchased it legally from a Palestinian owner who, according to Yedioth Ahronoth, was detained for questioning by Palestinian police last week.

IDF officials said the entry of Israeli settlers into the disputed house just two days before last Friday’s Land Day protests was a dangerous provocation.

Several MKs have expressed their support for the purchase of the house in question.

Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar said in a press release Monday that in a meeting with Likud ministers held the previous day, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for a discussion to be held this week to determine regarding the legality of the house purchase. According to Sa’ar, issuing an evacuation order before that discussion could take place is an “attempt at opportunism.” He added that “assuming that owners have the right to purchase [the house], the evacuation is not justified and sends the wrong message.”

Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein also defended the settlers, saying their purchase was valid and calling on Barak to rescind the eviction notice.

The building is the latest in a series of buildings that Israeli residents of the Hebron have attempted to claim. Settlers have been attempting to purchase property in Hebron for several years; many of the purchases have been contested in court.

In 2008, the IDF evacuated settlers who had moved into the Beit Hameriva, or House of Contention, located between Hebron and Kiryat Arba. In that case, the High Court ruled the settlers did not have a solid claim to the four-story building.

MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) called on settlers last week to retake homes that belonged to Jews before the city came under Jordanian control in 1948. ”The time has come to return to our homes in the city of our fathers that were stolen by the enemy,” he said. Bracha Kurzer and Hilary Zaken contributed to this report. (© 2012 THE TIMES OF ISRAEL 04/02/12)


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