Aerial footage of the contested Hebron home in Tel Rumeida.
(photo credit: PEACE NOW)
The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court ordered the evacuation of three Jewish families from a building in Hebron’s Tel Rumeida neighborhood within 45 days.
It’s the latest twist in a land battle that has stretched over 18 years and involved 14 years of multiple court cases.
A similar 2012 ruling by the Jerusalem District Court was thrown out on a technicality.
The stone structure is located at the of a cul-de-sac near a military base and Ruth’s Tomb
, had belonged to Palestinian family by the last name of Bakri, which left in 2001.
Jews in Hebron have since claimed to have property rights through a company called Tal Lebniya, which allegedly bought the home from the Bakri family in 2005. Both the company and the Bakri family had petitioned the Jerusalem Magistrates Court for a declaration of legal ownership.
A suggestion by the court that the two parties find a compromise solution was rejected.
On Tuesday, in a ruling that was made public only late Wednesday, the Magistrates’ Court ruled in favor of the the Bakri.
Judge Judge Yael Yativ ruled against the Tal Lebniya company and ordered it to pay NIS 569,700 to the Bakri family for the use of the property and another NIS 70,000 in legal fees.
Jewish community spokesman Yishai Fleisher
said that they had just received the ruling, were studying it and that any response would likely be in court.
The Left-wing group Peace Now accused the Israeli government and the IDF of sanctioning the Jewish theft of Palestinian property in Hebron.
This is not only a situation of “cruelty, deceit and theft,” Peace Now said, adding that it was also an example of the state’s failure to enforce the law for 18 years.
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