Two Jewish families living in four rooms in Hebron’s Beit Ezra building might be
forced to leave, according to documents the state is expected to turn into the
High Court of Justice on Monday.
The state, however, is also expected to
clarify that Hebron’s Jewish community can use the property for public purposes,
according to an Israeli official and Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs
Minister Yuli Edelstein.
The Ministerial Committee on Settlement Affairs
was initially scheduled to discuss the matter on Sunday, in advance of the
state’s submission to the court. However, the meeting was canceled.
the past, committee members have endorsed an earlier decision by a military
appeals court to allow the families to rent the rooms from the Custodian of
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
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
According to Edelstein, the state will now ask the families
to leave, but will maintain the idea that the property should remain in Jewish
Hebron Jewish community spokeswoman Orit Struck said she feared
that the state simply planned to evacuate the two families.
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
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