Jewish residents of the Peace House in Hevron will finally be allowed to install windows in their freezing cold building four days after the worst winter storm of the season came howling through the region.
Permission to immediately begin renovations of the building was announced by Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Eli Yishai (Shas) who said the decision was made after consultations with Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
Last week, as the government was preparing to supply “humanitarian aid” to Palestinian Authority Arabs in Hamas terrorist-controlled Gaza, Peace House families applied for permission to install windows in the building to protect themselves from the elements.
The defense establishment rejected the request, leaving the residents to weather the fierce wind, rain and snow without windows or sufficient heating or electricity in the building.
Yesha Shelanu - www.ylanu.org
Yishai confronts Barak
Yishai confronted Barak over the issue during last Wednesday’s Security Cabinet meeting while
Permission to immediately begin renovations of the building was announced by Minister Eli Yishai who said the decision was made after consultations with Ehud Barak.
the storm raged through the country, dumping snow as far north as Mount Hermon all the way south to Arad, near the southern tip of the Dead Sea.
Barak, chairman of the Labor Party, told Yishai, head of the Shas Party at the meeting that permission was denied due to “bureaucratic and legal problems” but said that he would examine the situation.
Hevron Jewish community spokesman Noam Armon on Sunday welcomed the decision to allow renovations to proceed. However, he called on the government to reverse the laws that prevent Jews from settling in Hevron. “We are still at risk of being evicted,” he warned.
Court appeal pending
Barak, and his predecessor Amir Peretz, have adamantly opposed Jews living in Peace House despite the IDF’s support for their presence, exercising authority rarely used by past defense ministers to refuse permission for Jewish residents in Judea and Samaria to live in their homes.
Peace House residents have appealed to the courts over the Defense Minister’s continued efforts to evict them from the building, despite its legal purchase from a Hevron Arab, winning a three-month reprieve before a ruling is to be issued.
The original Arab owner has since claimed the sale was illegal, despite a video tape of the purchase transaction being carried out, and the sale documents themselves. Selling property to Jews is a crime punishable by death under PA and Jordanian law. The former owner was subsequently arrested by the PA and charged with committing a capital offense.