Dayan urges PM not to evacuate Beit Ezra

Settler leader asks not to evacuate two families; Diaspora Minister Edelstein doesn't believe Israel will evacuate the settlers.

Dani Dayan 370 (photo credit: Tovah Lazaroff)
Dani Dayan 370
(photo credit: Tovah Lazaroff)
Settler leader Dani Dayan on Saturday night urged Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu not to evacuate two Jewish families from Beit Ezra in the West Bank city of Hebron.
“It’s a test case for the government’s policy,” said Dayan, who heads the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip.
He wrote his letter in advance of the state response to the High Court of Justice on the matter, which is due on Monday, December 17.
The court has rejected a state request to delay the case until after the election on January 22.
A military appeals court has said it is preferable for the Jewish families to remain in four former Palestinian market stalls than for the structures to stand empty. It said that the families should stay there until such time as the Palestinians could return to the stalls.
A Hebron Jewish family initially owned the building, which abuts the Avraham Avinu apartment complex, but was forced to leave it in 1947.
The structure then passed into the hands of the state custodian of abandoned properties, first under Jordan and then under Israel.
Until 2001, two Palestinians rented the four stalls from the custodian. At that time, the IDF forced the Palestinians to abandon the shops for security reasons.
In 2010 Peace Now petitioned the High Court of Justice on behalf of the Palestinian shopkeepers.
Dayan told The Jerusalem Post he fears that the government’s stance will be that the two Jewish families must now leave the four stalls. One family uses it as an apartment, and the other has incorporated the spaces into their larger Avraham Avinu apartment.
Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein said he did not believe that the state would seek to evacuate Beit Ezra.