Shaked to Arutz Sheva:
'I hope PM strengthens Hevron, lets Jewish community expand'

Justice Minister calls on Netanyahu to expand Jewish community in Hevron following election of convicted murderer as PA mayor of city.

Hezki Baruch,

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked
Yossi Zeliger

The recent establishment of a separate municipal administration for the Jewish community in Hevron, delinking it from the Palestinian Authority-controlled city, could be the beginning of radical changes, improving the Jewish community’s position, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) said in an interview with Arutz Sheva Tuesday.

Last month, the Defense Ministry granted Hevron’s Jewish community independent municipal authority, removing it from the Palestinian Authority-dominated City of Hevron.

Among other things, the move allows the Jewish Hevron Municipal Committee to purchase and hold land, as well as to enter into contracts and tenders.

The committee will become a local administration and will be authorized to promote the economic, social, cultural, health, and educational issues of Hevron residents, and to collect fees and levies from them.

Shaked told Arutz Sheva the move was part of a joint effort by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu), Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan (Jewish Home), and herself.

“Municipal Committee [in Hevron] is a project initiated by the Defense Minister, Deputy Defense Minister, and myself. It’s an important project to help strengthen the Jewish community in Hevron, allowing the residents to manage their own affairs.”

Recent developments made the granting of independent municipal status to the Jewish community especially important, continued Shaked, citing the election of convicted Fatah terrorist Tiyassir Abu Sanina as Mayor of Hevron.

“We’re at a point where the Jewish community in Hevron needs to be strengthened, given the recent decision by UNESCO and the fact that the new mayor of Hevron is a terrorist convicted of murder.”

Abu Sanin was convicted of murder for his role in the murder of six Israelis in Beit Hadassah in Hevron in 1980. He was later freed in a prisoner exchange deal agreed to by the Peres government in 1985.

Along with the change in the community’s municipal status, Shaked hopes the government will expand the community and permit a new wave of construction.

“I hope that the Prime Minister strengthens the Jewish community in Hevron, and will authorize its expansion in the near future. I also hope that all of the ministers will use their positions to do their part to strengthen the Jewish community in Hevron.”