´Without proof - Machpelah house to be evacuated by month´s end´ (YNetNews.Com -Yedioth Internet) Attila Somfalvi Published: 04.04.12, 08:32)
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Based on legal opinion, PM Netanyahu and senior ministers decide
settlers must prove they purchased disputed Hebron house legally or
leave premises by April 26
Following a late night meeting on Tuesday between Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu and ministers Ehud Barak, Benny Begin and Moshe
Ya´alon it was decided that the Jewish settlers who took up residence
at the Machpelah house in Hebron would be evacuated from the premises
by April 26 if it is proven they had moved into the house illegally.
The decision was based on the opinion of senior judicial officials.
The affair began last week when dozens of settlers moved into the
house, which is located near the Cave of the Patriarchs, claiming
they had purchased it from its Palestinian owners.
Palestinians who claim to be the rightful owners of the house in
Hebron told Ynet Tuesday that the house was never sold to anyone –
Jewish or otherwise.
The house was declared a closed military zone, and the Civil
Administration issued an eviction order for the settlers, which
stated that "in Hebron a fragile status quo is maintained between the
Israeli and Palestinian population. Upholding this status quo
prevents confrontations that may lead to loss of life."
The settlers, for their part, denied the claim and said that the
Civil Administration has not even examined the legality of the sale
of the building. The settlers further claimed that some Civil
Administration officials have admitted that documents presented to
the Administration prove the house had been purchased legally.
On Monday the Civil Administration ordered the settlers to leave the
premises by 3 pm on Tuesday, but later that day, following harsh
criticism leveled by rightist MKs, Netanyahu asked Defense Minister
Barak to delay the evacuation in order to give the settlers ample
time to explore all legal avenues and prove they had purchased the
Security officials told Ynet the eviction order was issued due to
security concerns, claiming the settlers´ presence in the house poses
a threat to stability in the area. The sources said that even if the
house had been purchased legally, the contract still requires the
authorization of the defense minister. (Copyright 2012 © Yedioth
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