Minister Yuli Edelstein
Minister Yuli EdelsteinFlash 90

Minister of Information and Diaspora Yuli Edelstein (Likud) said on Saturday evening that the sale of Beit HaMachpelah (HaMachpelah House), which Jews had purchased from an Arab owner, was undoubtedly valid.

Edelstein made the comments during a visit to the building, where he was the guest of about 70 people who spent Shabbat at the newly purchased home near the Tomb of the Patriarchs. A group of Jews moved into the house on Wednesday night.

The Jews had quietly moved into the building, hoping to avoid a confrontation with local Arab neighbors, but a large contingent of IDF troops arrived to maintain security at the scene and declared the area a “restricted military zone” soon after the new residents moved in.

The new residents insist they possess all the necessary legal documentation to prove their purchase of the building. Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority Arab who sold the building to the Jews is reportedly being held by the Palestinian Authority. MK Uri Ariel (National Union) has called on the defense establishment to find a way to rescue him.

“There is no doubt that this is a legitimate purchase of a home sold by an Arab to a family,” Minister Edelstein said Saturday night, after examining the documents of sale and speaking to the home’s new owners.

“The phenomenon whereby PA police persecutes those who legally sell their homes to Jews must stop,” he added. “I intend to continue to visit Hevron in general and in homes belonging to Jews in particular, especially those homes that were purchased legally.”

Other ministers and MKs are expected to visit the home in the coming days. On Friday, Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar said that “assuming that the acquisition was done properly, the Minister of Defense must permit the transaction under his authority and allow Jewish residents to live in the home which they purchased.”