Powered by WebAds

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Hevron Families to be Evicted

Friday morning at 11:00, the IDF will be allowed to forcibly evict three Jewish families from the Shapira house that they have rented since early April. The three families include 25 persons. The eviction has been postponed to Sunday morning to avoid violations of the Sabbath.

Earlier today, the Supreme Court rejected a petition that was filed by the three families, asking that their eviction be stayed. As is often the case when land or buildings are purchased from Arabs in Yesha, the title here is unclear, and there are claims of fraud on the one hand, and intimidation on the other. But here is a brief summary of the building's ownership.

According to the petition filed in court by the Schlissel family, one of the families living in the building, the Schlissels moved into the building with the permission of the purported tenant, Tal Investments and Construction Ltd., which claimed that it had rented the property from its lawful owner, Hani el-Batash. Police said that legal counsel for the Judea and Samaria District reviewed the families' deeds and concluded that the documents were counterfeit. As a result, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz decided to sign an eviction order on Tuesday.

Batash said he bought the building from its previous owner, Kamer el-Nazer. But Nazer filed a trespassing complaint against the Schlissels with the Civil Administration, which sparked the eviction order.

According to the petitioners, the building had been empty and neglected for many years (according to one account, ten years). Tal Investments allegedly rented it from Batash on February 8, 2005 and gave permission to the Schlissels to live there. It said it spent a large sum to clean it up and make it habitable. In the meantime, two other families moved into the second and third floors, so that 22 people currently live in the building.

The petitioners charged that the Civil Administration had arrested Batash and tried to force him to declare that he had not bought the property from Nazer. They said that after a few days, Batash was released without further action against him.

They also charged that Nazer had filed the complaint because she was afraid she might be killed for selling a property that had ended up in Jewish hands. This is not a far-fetched fear. Three weeks ago, Muhammad Abu al-Hawa was murdered for selling a building in Jerusalem that ended up in Jewish hands. Since 1994, dozens of other Arabs have been murdered for selling land to Jews.

Another factor adding suspense to the case is that Saturday night will mark 30 days since the Jews moved in. When a building is populated in Judea and Samaria, the government has 30 days to declare that its sale or occupancy is suspected of being illegal or problematic and to evict the residents. "After 30 days, it becomes a much more difficult task for them," said Hevron spokesman David Wilder.

Hevron community spokesman David Wilder said he that hoped that people would flock to Hevron to support the community should the case be lost in court. But this morning, before the decision was issued, the army declared the entire area a "closed military zone."

Hundreds of policemen have arrived in Hevron are prepared to carry out the eviction of twenty-two or twenty-five people (I have conflicting reports), most of whom are children. The plan is for them to first attempt to conduct negotiations with the families, hoping to have them leave without a struggle. In the inner circle of the expulsion will be Border Guard police and fighters, together with psychologists and rabbis who will try to bridge differences. In the second circle will be special police forces who will attempt to prevent the arrival of Hevron supporters. In the third and outer circle will be IDF forces who will defend the area from Arabs and terrorists.

Will the police and army show up tomorrow with horses and clubs? Stay tuned....


Post a Comment

<< Home