Contrary to Reports, No Eviction Orders in Hevron

Defense Minister rushed to announce, Haaretz rushed to report - but the facts are otherwise. The Jews of Peace House feel they're there to stay.

Hillel Fendel,

Beit HaShalom/Peace House
Beit HaShalom/Peace House
The Defense Minister rushed to announce, and Haaretz rushed to report - but the facts are otherwise. The Jews of Peace House in Hevron feel they're there to stay.

Defense Minister Amir Peretz announced last month that he plans to evict the Jewish purchasers of a building in Hevron, because the sale had not been approved by his Ministry. Attorney General Menachem Mazuz then put the brakes on this plan, saying the Jews had to first be given a right to appeal.

Last night, Peretz's office announced that the purchasers' appeal had not been received, and that it would therefore issue eviction orders today (Sunday). So reported Haaretz.

A phone call to Hevron Jewish Community spokesman Noam Arnon, however, produced an entirely different story. "We sent our appeal last Thursday," Arnon told Arutz-7 today, "but apparently the Civil Administration office neglected to inform the Defense Minister's office. But Peretz, instead of investigating further, rushed to announce that we had not appealed and that he was evicting us."

"This just shows another example of the irresponsibility of Peretz and his people," Arnon said, "just as the Winograd Commission found. Peretz is interested only in throwing us out of our home - as if he has nothing else to worry about..."

The new building is in a critical location as far as the Jewish presence in Hevron is concerned. It stands on the street that links the large Jewish suburb Kiryat Arba with the Jewish neighborhood of Hevron - and thus connects the two areas.

Some 14-15 families, and an additional several dozen yeshiva students, are now living in the large four-story building, which has 3,500 square meters of floor space. The Jews originally moved into the building some six weeks ago, after it was purchased by a Jewish American businessman through a Jordanian real estate agency for $700,000. The house has become a cultural center of sorts, hosting post-wedding Sheva Brachot celebrations, extracurricular activities for children, and the like.

The new Jewish owners immediately announced the building's name as Beit HaShalom - Peace House. However, much of the Israeli media, taking their lead from the ultra-leftist Peace Now group (which has set as its goal the erasure of all Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria), has referred to the building only as "Conflict House." Spokesman Arnon said that this was typical of the "fascist press that rules in this country."

The Haaretz article today, for instance, used that term, noting that some also call it the "Brown House" - but refusing to acknowledge that the owners themselves along with wide sectors of the public call it Peace House. This, despite a formal recommendation by the Israel Broadcast Authority that the building be called Peace House.

On Friday, a Jewish woman was lightly hurt and her car was damaged when Arabs threw rocks at her on the road southeast of Hevron.