Defense Minister Ehud Barak has agreed to give formal recognition to the purchase of Hevron's Peace House by Jews, and has instructed the Civil Administration accordingly. However, this does not necessarily mean that the residents of the house will be allowed to live in it anytime soon.
Barak's decision follows a September 13 decision by Jerusalem's District Court to approve the sale of the house to Tal Construction and Investments – Karnei Shomron.
Barak's bureau announced that the decision was reached after consultations with the Attorney General and Government Legal Advisor, and with the military administration of Judea and Samaria. However, Arutz Sheva has learned that Barak's move was timed to pre-empt a government move to force his hand.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, in coordination with several Likud ministers, intended to bring to a cabinet vote Sunday a decision to instruct the military to approve the purchase. This would have left Barak no choice but to comply with the decision. He preferred, therefore, to make the move in a way that would not seem as if he had been forced.
It is still not clear whether Barak will allow the residents who lived in Peace House to enter it, however. Observers in Judea and Samaria explained that theoretically, the Defense Ministry and military could say that while the property belongs to Jews, they may not live there because doing so would create a security problem.