Hebron Palestinians unconvinced by evacuation (JERUSALEM POST) By KHALED ABU TOAMEH 04/05/12)
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Palestinians in Hebron reacted with mixed feelings to Wednesday’s
eviction of Jewish settlers from a house which they allegedly
purchased from a Palestinian.
“We hope this is not just a theatrical act,” said Mahmoud Qawassmeh,
who lives near the disputed house, which Palestinians say belongs to
the Abu Rajab family.
“We are happy that the settlers have been removed from here,” he
said. “But we hope that this is a permanent move and that they won’t
In Ramallah, Palestinian Authority officials did not comment on the
eviction of the settlers.
Qawassmeh and a group of Palestinian activists had set up a tent near
the site to protest against the presence of the settlers in the house.
“We still don’t know if we are going to end the protest,” said Ayman
Zahdeh, another neighbor. “The problem is not only with the 20
settlers who occupied the Palestinian house. The real problem we have
is with all the settlers who are living in our city. We want to see
all of them evicted because their presence here is a source of
tension and instability.”
Issa Amr, one of the activists behind the antisettler protest,
complained that settlers attacked Palestinian families Wednesday with
stones and firebombs.
He said that the settlers caused damage to the windows at the home of
the Sider family and a vehicle belonging to the Qafisheh family.
“The settlers also tried to set fire to our tent,” he claimed. “They
hurled abuse at us and threatened to harm even the children who were
standing in the area.”
The PA governor of Hebron, Kamel Hmeid, denied that the disputed
house had been sold to settlers.
“How can 20 settlers together buy one house?” he asked. “And why did
they force their way into the house after midnight? Why haven’t they
shown us proof that they purchased the house?”
A PA security official in Hebron confirmed that the Palestinian
security forces have launched an investigation into the case to
determine whether Palestinians were involved in the real estate deal.
The official also denied that a suspect was arrested for questioning.
(© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 04/05/12)
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