Settlers: ‘We will resist forceful evacuation of Hebron house’ (TIMES OF ISRAEL) By ASHER ZEIGER 04/02/12)
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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
IDF officials said the entry of Israeli settlers into the disputed
house just two days before last Friday’s Land Day protests was a
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
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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