Settlers move into Palestinian home

Hebron families claim to have purchased the building legally.

hebron mom, baby 298.88 (photo credit: )
hebron mom, baby 298.88
(photo credit: )
Four Jewish families moved into an abandoned Palestinian home, raising tensions in this volatile West Bank city. The settlers entered the home late Thursday, claiming they had purchased the building legally. But a Palestinian owner said there had been no sale, and he planned to appeal the matter to the Israeli Supreme Court. About 500 Jewish settlers live in heavily guarded compounds in Hebron, which is home to some 170,000 Palestinians. The newly purchased home is located in Avraham Avinu, an enclave that is off limits to Palestinians. Settler spokesman David Wilder said the purchase was legal. "This is normal. Houses are bought everywhere in the world. We don't have enough space, so we need more houses to live in," he said. But Safwan al-Nazer, an owner of the house, said the alleged deal was illegal. He said the house has been in his family for generations, and ownership is shared by about 100 relatives who would have to approve the sale. "We challenge them to prove we sold the house," he said, saying he planned to take the matter to court. "If we sold it, it has to be signed by everybody. This house has been occupied by the settlers." Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that purchase was approved by military authorities in the West Bank, and that police would take no action in the case until a court decision is made. Officials with the army's Civil Administration could not immediately be reached for comment.