Jewish settlers announced their purchase of a three-story Palestinian building in Hebron near the Tomb of the Patriarchs on Sunday, in what is the second such publication of a property acquisition this year.
“By the grace of God, the Jewish community in Hebron is expanding,” tweeted MK Orit Struck (Religious Zionist Party).
"By the grace of God, the Jewish community in Hebron is expanding."MK Orit Struck
The move is part of a long-term campaign by Hebron’s Jewish community and its supporters to expand its property holding in the section of the city under IDF military control.
This particular building is located in Hebron’s Old Town, which the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization inscribed on its World Heritage in Danger list and registered it under the name of the “State of Palestine.”
The building has been named “House of Liberty” by settlers. Its purchase from its Palestinian owner was organized by the right-wing organization Harchvi.
It’s located near the pharmacy checkpoint, not far from the four-story building called Beit HaMachpela, which settlers purchased from Palestinians and were given permission to move into in 2019, seven years after they first attempted to move into the structure.
The Hebron Jewish community’s English-language spokesman Yishai Fleisher tweeted about the latest property acquisition, stating, “New Jewish home in Hebron acquired by the Harchvi organization. We’re calling it ‘House of Liberty’ – purchased from Arabs about a year ago. [Three] floors, close to the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs.”
New Jewish home in Hebron acquired by the Harchvi organization, we're calling it "House of Liberty" - purchased from Arabs about a year ago.3 floors, close to the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs.The seller is safe and all is going good, Baruch Hashem! pic.twitter.com/BUZmlgkBwp— Yishai Fleisher يشاي ישי פליישר (@YishaiFleisher) July 28, 2022
The Palestinian Authority prohibits the sale of property to Jews and holds it to be a criminal activity punishable by imprisonment.
Fleisher said, “The seller is safe and all is going good, thank God.”
Purchasing Palestinian property
In May, Harchvi announced that it had purchased a building, named Beit Tekuma, in an area of Hebron near the exit to the Kiryat Arba settlement.
Some 15 families initially tried to enter that building but agreed to leave in exchange for the placement of an IDF guard by the structure, which also has a space for shops on the first floor.
This time around Harchvi opted to wait until it obtained a purchase agreement from the Defense Ministry. A number of settlers, however, entered the building briefly by using a ladder. The front of the building is located on the Palestinian side of the pharmacy checkpoint, where Israelis are prohibited.
Hagit Ofran of the left-wing group Peace Now tweeted that it was irrelevant if the building had been purchased or not.
“It is an illegal settlement for all intents and purposes. It is forbidden for a handful of settlers to determine the foreign and security policy for an entire country and establish a settlement in the heart of a Palestinian city,” Ofran said.
“If the government does not evict them immediately, the settlement will [have been created] because of Prime Minister Lapid (who once said something about two states),” she added.
Hebron is divided, with 80% of the city of over 200,000 Palestinians living under the auspices of the PA with a Palestinian-controlled municipality.
The IDF controls the other 20% of the city, where some 1,000 Jewish Israelis live.