IDF soldier stands guard near Beit Hamachpela_370.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
A military appeals panel on Monday legally validated the Hebron Jewish
community’s purchase in 2012 of a three-story building across from the Cave of
the Patriarchs, known as Beit Hamachpela.
But families could only move into
the building if Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon authorizes the purchase and gives
them permission to do so.
Coalition chairman MK Yariv Levin (Likud)
immediately called on Ya’alon to allow Jews to move into the home.
bought this house justly in the city of our forefathers,” Levin said at the
Likud faction meeting in the Knesset on Monday. “We will continue to
contribute to Jewish settlement in Hebron.”
On April 4, 2012, on the eve
of Passover, the IDF forcibly evicted settlers from the three-story structure. A
week earlier, about 15 families moved into the home, and then presented the IDF
and politicians with documents showing they had purchased the property in a deal
that took three years to complete.
The PA has since jailed and sentenced
to death the Palestinian who sold them the property, according to Hebron
resident MK Orit Struck (Bayit Yehudi).
At the time, the Civil
Administration of Judea and Samaria had said that on the surface, the documents
looked authentic, but the issue was more the absence of a purchase
Security sources had also said they were concerned about the
building’s location in an otherwise Palestinian neighborhood in a section of the
city under Israeli military control.
Palestinians also live in a small
section of the building, which was not purchased by the settlers.
abuts a Palestinian school and borders the area of the city under the
Palestinian Authority’s jurisdiction.
The portion of the building
purchased by settlers has been boarded up for more than a year, but an Israeli
flag has continued to fly there. In a recent visit to the city, The Jerusalem
noted a Palestinian flag flying from a nearby building.
the military judicial panel’s decision was a “serious indictment against those
who decided to evacuate the home.” The building’s evacuation, she said, was
unprofessional, unfair, and had no basis in fact.
“It is very sad that
someone decided to throw Jews out of the homes because they were Jews,” she
said. “Then they wrapped it in legal cellophane claiming that they acted for
Struck said she was hopeful Ya’alon would authorize
the building’s habitation by Jews.
Prior to the evacuation, she said,
Ya’alon visited the building and said that the families should be allowed to
Monday’s decision marks the second time in the past few
years a military court has authenticated the Jewish purchase of Palestinian
property in Hebron.
In 2012, the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court validated
the purchase of a three-story structure on the outskirts of the city, known as
Beit Hashalom. Following the verdict, former defense minister Ehud Barak
approved the sale and its habitation by Jews. But the building remains empty
pending an appeal by the initial Palestinian owners.