Cave of the Patriarchs
Cave of the PatriarchsIsrael news photo: Flash 90


Although Jews moved quietly into their new home next to Hevron's Cave of the Patriarchs late last night, Thursday was anything but quiet.

IDF soldiers arrived shortly after the new residents entered their apartments. They immediately surrounded the building and effectively sealed it off, declaring the area a “restricted military zone.”

“They're not letting anyone in,” Hevron Jewish community spokesman David Wilder told Arutz Sheva late Thursday morning. “But I was told the purchase documents are all good. The question now is whether Defense Minister Ehud Barak will allow the residents to stay there, regardless of whether the purchase was legal.”

By midday, IDF soldiers were scuffling with media who wanted to cover events at the site. Reporters expressed anger at military officials for declaring the area a closed military zone.

Scattered violence was reported, but tempers soon calmed.

Rabbi Dov Lior, the Chief Rabbi of Kiryat Arba-Hevron, arrived shortly after, and spoke with Arutz Sheva about the transaction in which the Jews had purchased the new home.

“The building was purchased legally, with no property infringement,” said the rabbi. “We expect to retain full ownership and purchase rights,” he added.

Meanwhile, an IDF source slammed Jewish residents for having moved into the building so close to “Land Day” – the annual event 'celebrated' with violence by Palestinian Authority Arabs complaining about the presence of Israel in the Middle East.