Fifteen settler families moved into a building in Hebron, which its city’s Jewish community said they purchased and had already been accessing for close to a month.
“We are continuing the Zionist endeavor of redeeming the land,” said Shlomo Levinger, who is a representative of the families and of Harchevi, the group responsible for the project.
The group was also behind the purchase of the Beit Rachel and Leah building in 2018 near the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron.
This most recent building, called HaTekuma, is located on the Hebron street that runs just outside the Kiryat Arba settlement. It is situated between the back end of the settlement and a Jewish apartment complex known as Beit HaShalom (House of Peace).
The small Jewish community of about 1,000 people lives in several apartment complexes in a section of the city under Israeli military control. Most of the city of 215,000 Palestinians is controlled by the Palestinian Authority.
Jewish history in the city dates back to the Patriarch Abraham’s purchases of the Tomb, but the current Jewish community has struggled to receive permission to expand and grow.
Recently, construction work began on a 31-unit apartment building for Jewish families.
“Especially these days, we want to [make it] clear that Jews can buy a home anywhere in the Land of Israel, particularly in the city of our forefathers,” Levinger said, adding that Harchevi purchased the structure.
Hagit Ofran of Peace Now said that “it doesn’t matter if it was legally purchased,” but rather whether Defense Minister Benny Gantz authorized the entry of the settlers, calling on Gantz to evacuate them.
“A handful of settlers shouldn’t be allowed to determine the government’s foreign policy,” Ofran said. “If the government doesn’t evacuate them immediately, it has in effect allowed” the families to remain.