Settlers enter building in Hebron 370.
(photo credit: TOVAH LAZAROFF)
Several dozen settlers entered a home adjacent to the Cave of the Patriarchs in the old city of Hebron overnight Wednesday, claiming to have documents proving they purchased the empty building.
Soon after they entered the building, IDF and police forces arrived and remained on the scene while an investigation was opened into the ownership of the home. The IDF declared the area a closed military zone while the investigation was being conducted.
The settlers did not inform anyone of their intentions to enter the home.
IDF sources were highly critical of the move, or at least of the methods employed. Considering the high tensions ahead of Land Day marches on Thursday, an IDF source told Israel Radio, it would have been better if they had not entered the home "like thieves in the night."
Another IDF source called the move a provocation. "This is a dangerous provocation at a bad time, considering [IDF forces] in the field are preparing for Land Day," Army Radio reported.