The government must pay 5,000 shekels to Peace Now and other plaintiffs for dragging out proceedings regarding Beit Ezra in Hevron, Supreme Court Justice Elyakim Rubenstein ruled Wednesday. While he imposed a fine, Rubenstein agreed to grant the state’s request for a third extension on a deadline for its response to the Peace Now suit.
Beit Ezra is a Jewish-owned building that was taken over by Arab merchants when Jordan took control of Judea and Samaria following the War of Independence. Israel retook the area in the Six Day War, and ten years ago two Jewish families entered the building, which was empty.
A debate is ongoing over whether the state should rent the property to the Jewish community of Hevron, or leave it empty.