Arabs Appeal to High Court Over Hevron Home

The murder of an IDF soldier does not justify giving Beit Hamachpela to "the settlers", claim PA Arabs in petition.

Elad Benari ,

Beit Hamachpela
Beit Hamachpela
Israel news photo: Flash 90

14 Palestinian Authority Arab residents of Hevron petitioned the High Court on Monday evening, asking that it prevent the entry of Jews into Beit Hamachpela.

According to Kol Yisrael radio, the petitioners are claiming the building is still under their ownership. Their lawyer was quoted as having said that the murder of IDF soldier Gal Kobi in Hevron on Sunday does not justify taking "private property" from Arabs and transferring it to “settlers”.

The High Court has ordered the state to respond to the petition by Tuesday afternoon.

On Sunday night, several hours after Kobi was murdered by a PA Arab terrorist, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ordered that steps be taken immediately to resettle Beit Hamachpela.

Beit Hamachpela in Hevron is a home that was purchased last year from an Arab  by 15 Jewish families. The families moved in soon after the sale, fearing the building – uninhabited – would be occupied by local Arabs before the Civil Administration validated their purchase.

In August of 2012, then Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the removal of the residents who purchased the building, despite a request by Netanyahu to allow a court to determine the course of events.

The military appeals court has since accepted the appeal of the Jews who bought the property, ruling that the purchase was made according to law.

Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon issued a "transaction permit" on Monday, which allows Jews to enter the house. Dozens of people entered the home on Monday evening, including Housing Minister Uri Ariel and MK Orit Struk, both of the Bayit Yehudi party.

Struk voiced her pleasure earlier Monday at Netanyahu’s decision.

"I am pleased with the prime minister's decision to immediately populate the Machpela House,” she said. “A just and value-based decision, which expresses the healthy feeling of the multitudes of Israel who continue, even today, and especially today, to vote with their feet for a Hebrew Hevron.”