Jews who purchased a home in Hevron have been forbidden to enter it as the army has declared the area a closed military zone. Activists in Hevron expressed frustration at the “racist” decision.

Local activist Baruch Marzel explained that those who bought the home have every necessary document proving ownership – but lack government authorization. “Everything is in the hands of Netanyahu,” he said. “Netanyahu must decide if he’s with us or with our enemies."

There was symbolism in the last seven words of that sentence. Marzel was quoting a verse from the Book of Joshua, chapter 5.13. Joshua, the leader who conquers the land of Israel after Moses' death meets a strange, armed man outside Jericho before the battle for the city and asks him that question. The man answers that he is G-d's Minister of War and has come to help the Jews conquer the Holy Land.

“It can’t be that a Jew cannot go into a house that he owns in Hevron,” he added.

MK Aryeh Eldad (Ichud Leumi) expressed joy at the step forward for Hevron’s Jewish community, which has been slowly growing since Jews were allowed to return to the city in the 1970s. However, the joy was mixed with disapproval of the government, he said, for failing to challenge what he termed “fascist” Palestinian Authority law that forbids Muslim and Christian Arabs to sell property to Jews.