The state informed the High Court of Justice on Monday that it will evacuate the two Jewish families living in four rooms in Hebron’s Beit Ezra building.
The state said the residents would have until April 24, 2013 to vacate the premises.
A Hebron Jewish family initially owned the building, which abuts the Avraham Avinu apartment complex, but was forced to leave it in 1947.
The structure then passed into the hands of the state custodian of abandoned properties, first under Jordan and then under Israel.
Until 2001, two Palestinians rented the four rooms from the custodian and used them as market stalls. At that time, the IDF forced the Palestinians to abandon the shops for security reasons.
In 2010, Peace Now petitioned the High Court of Justice on behalf of the Palestinian shopkeepers.
According to Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein, the state maintains the idea that the property should remain in Jewish hands.
Hebron Jewish community spokeswoman Orit Struck said she feared that the state simply planned to evacuate the two families.
She recalled that in 2006, the state similarly struck a deal with the settlers living in the evacuated market stalls. Those stalls also abutted the Avraham Avinu complex.
The families left the stalls after the state promised that the community could use them for communal purposes.
It then reneged on its word, Struck said, so there is no reason to trust that it would honor its pledge now.
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