(photo credit: AP)
Border policemen on Monday broke into the bedroom of a teenage girl in Hebron and into the home of a young couple as part of their investigation into the status of Jewish illegal residency in abandoned Palestinian property next to the city's Avraham Avinu neighborhood.
A spokesman for the police and the Civil Administration, which conducted the investigation, said they were in the area as part of a court-sanctioned search.
The spokesman said the security forces checked if Hebron settlers had illegally moved into property abandoned by Palestinians. In two instances, they found settlers living in such properties. Security forces took note of the settlers' presence but took no steps to evict them at this time, the spokesman said.
According to David Wilder, a spokesman for the Hebron community, the structures in question stand on Jewish-owned property and were now under the care of the Custodian of Abandoned Property. He added that the Hebron community had the power of attorney, which allowed them to make use of the structures even if Palestinians had at one time inhabited them.
Both properties, he said, were extensions of the Avraham Avinu complex. In the case of the teenage girl's bedroom, he said it was attached to a newly built home owned by her family in that complex.
On the Hebron community Web site, he published photographs of the inspection by the security forces. Wilder said that the border policemen caused unnecessary destruction in conducting the search, saying they could have chosen to go through doors to enter the apartments and instead broke through a wall and a window.
Two photographs on the Web site show the hole, which Wilder said security forces made in the girl's bedroom. Other photographs show border police with sledgehammers, and in one case they appear to be breaking through a wall.
A police spokesman said he did not know if a hole had been made in the wall or not, but he said those involved in the inspection did not cause any unnecessary property damage.
Upon seeing the security forces converging on the buildings, members of Hebron's Jewish community tried to keep them from inspecting the area and entering the buildings. In some instances they yelled and scuffled with the police. One woman was arrested.
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