Palestinians hold man over Hebron ´house sale´(AFP) AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE) 04/05/12)
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A Palestinian man suspected of mediating in the contested sale of a
house in Hebron to Jewish settlers has been detained, Palestinian
security sources told AFP on Thursday.
Israeli security forces on Wednesday evicted a group of settlers from
a house in the West Bank city, a day after they were ordered to leave
Six settler families had moved into the property a week ago, claiming
they had legally purchased one floor of the building from its
Palestinian sources in Hebron said the property belonged to the Abu
Rajab family, some of whom live on the first floor of the building,
and that it was possible that a member of the family had sold the
second floor of the house.
But the buyer was not settlers, rather a Palestinian man originally
from the Gaza Strip, who is suspected of acting as a middle-man for
Jewish groups involved in buying Palestinian assets, the Palestinian
security sources said.
This go-between, who worked for Palestinian national security in
Ramallah before retiring, was detained earlier this week by
Palestinian security forces, and was being held in Ramallah, the
They added that the member of the Abu Rajab family believed to have
sold the asset to the middle-man had "escaped to Israel."
The Israeli defence ministry said following the eviction that it
would continue to examine the legal aspects of the property deal.
The house is near the contested religious site known as the Cave of
the Patriarchs (or the Machpelah Cave) to Jews and the Ibrahimi
Mosque to Muslims.
Hebron is the largest Palestinian city in the West Bank, home to some
190,000 Palestinian residents, but also a core of around 600 Israeli
hardcore settlers who live in the heart of the city protected by a
large Israeli military presence.
The Old City has become a flashpoint for confrontations between
Israelis and Palestinians.
In 1994, a settler from the nearby Kiryat Arba settlement gunned down
29 Palestinians as they prayed at the contested Ibrahimi Mosque site.
(Copyright © 2012 Agence France Presse. 04/05/12)
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