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Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Military appeals court validates purchase of Machpeila House

Last year, a group of Jews moved into a building that was purchased by the Hebron Jewish community from an Arab after the Arab who arranged the sale was arrested by the 'Palestinian Authority.' Despite the fact that the purchase of Machpeila House appeared to be valid, then-Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the Jews expelled from the building. At the time, Barak's biggest opponent on the issue was the current Defense Minister, Moshe Yaalon. Now, a military appeals court has ruled that the purchase of the building by the Jews was valid. Will Yaalon let them move in?
[F]amilies could only move into the building if Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon authorizes the purchase and gives them permission to do so.
Coalition chairman MK Yariv Levin (Likud) immediately called on Ya’alon to allow Jews to move into the home.
“They bought this house justly in the city of our forefathers,” Levin said at the Likud faction meeting in the Knesset on Monday. “We will continue to contribute to Jewish settlement in Hebron.”
Unfortunately, the government has plenty to fear here (and for the record, the time has come to overcome those fears).
The PA has since jailed and sentenced to death the Palestinian who sold them the property, according to Hebron resident MK Orit Struck (Bayit Yehudi).
At the time, the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria had said that on the surface, the documents looked authentic, but the issue was more the absence of a purchase permit.
Security sources had also said they were concerned about the building’s location in an otherwise Palestinian neighborhood in a section of the city under Israeli military control.
Palestinians also live in a small section of the building, which was not purchased by the settlers.
It abuts a Palestinian school and borders the area of the city under the Palestinian Authority’s jurisdiction.
The portion of the building purchased by settlers has been boarded up for more than a year, but an Israeli flag has continued to fly there. In a recent visit to the city, The Jerusalem Post noted a Palestinian flag flying from a nearby building.
Struck said the military judicial panel’s decision was a “serious indictment against those who decided to evacuate the home.” The building’s evacuation, she said, was unprofessional, unfair, and had no basis in fact.
“It is very sad that someone decided to throw Jews out of the homes because they were Jews,” she said. “Then they wrapped it in legal cellophane claiming that they acted for judicial reasons.”
Struck said she was hopeful Ya’alon would authorize the building’s habitation by Jews.
In any event. the Jews may be a long way from moving in.
In 2012, the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court validated the purchase of a three-story structure on the outskirts of the city, known as Beit Hashalom. Following the verdict, former defense minister Ehud Barak approved the sale and its habitation by Jews. But the building remains empty pending an appeal by the initial Palestinian owners.
If we don't assert our rights, no one else will. 

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