Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon authorized settlers’ purchase of apartments in a
three-story building in the West Bank city of Hebron, but Jewish families still
can’t move in yet, his spokesman told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday
The move advances the bureaucratic process to allow Hebron
Jewish families to live there, but doesn’t complete it, the spokesman
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday night said the
families could live in the building, as a response to the Palestinian killing of
an Israeli soldier near the structure on Sunday evening.
On Monday, 14
Palestinian families appealed to the High Court of Justice to prevent settlers
from moving in until the bureaucratic process is completed and all legal issues
have been adjudicated.
The state on Tuesday asked the court to reject the
petition as superfluous. It clarified that settlers would not be allowed to move
into the home until all legal procedures had been followed.
It gave the
Palestinian petitioners until the end of October to respond.
Bayit Yehudi politicians, including Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel
and MKs Orit Struck, Mordechai Yogev and Shuli Moalem-Refaeli, held a small
faction meeting in the contested building, as well as a Succot celebration with
members of Hebron’s Jewish community.
“Our response to these terrible
terrorist attacks is to build more and more and to populate more and more
structures like Beit Hamachpela,” Ariel said. “They are trying to excise us, and
our response is to strengthen our roots deeper in the land of
According to the state, in its response to the High Court, some
of the settlers remained overnight. The IDF asked them to leave, and they did so
in the morning. The state clarified that Israelis were not allowed to use the
building, and that the IDF would prevent them from doing so until an occupancy
permit was issued and all legal procedures had been followed.
Deputy Defense Minister MK Danny Danon (Likud Beytenu) visited the Cave of the
Patriarchs in Hebron on Monday and called for the Beit Hamachpela building to be
“We are saying clearly that Jewish blood cannot be spilled in
vain. We will pursue the murderer and his emissaries and make them pay,” Danon
Hebron Jewish families had purchased Beit Hamachpela and moved into
it at the end of March 2012. The IDF forcibly evicted them on April 4, because
their purchase documents had not been authenticated and they lacked a purchase
In July, a military appeals court validated their purchase of the
structure, which abuts a Palestinian school and borders a section of the city
under Palestinian Authority control.
Palestinians live in a small section
of the building which was not purchased by settlers.
In spite of their
court victory, the Hebron families were still barred from moving into the
property because they lacked a final signature of approval from Ya’alon. He in
turn waited for the Civil Administration to finish the authorization process for
A part of that process allowed for an objection
Attorney Samer Shihadih, who represents the Palestinian families,
said that he had been waiting for that objection period to assert the claims of
his clients that they owned the structure.
He has asked the High Court to
issue an injunction to prevent the settlers from moving into the home until the
authorization process was completed and until his clients had exhausted their
Netanyahu, he said, acted in the heat of the moment, but
did not have the authority to authorize the families to move in until all proper
steps had been taken.
“This will be a long process,” he said.