MK Michael Malchieli (Shas) filed a query with the government asking why Prime Minister Netanyahu has not restored the historic Hevron market to Jewish hands and why construction has not started to rebuild the area after decades of neglect.
In an interview with Arutz Sheva, MK Malchieli explained the motive for submitting the query, which will probably be referred to the defense minister, who is Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu..
"In Halacha, the author writes out his evidence," said Malchieli, who added that there is no doubt that the place belongs to the Jews of Hevron. "The story of the market land is that everyone knows it was owned by Jews. Some were murdered and some fled. For some reason the state closed the place. There is an opinion of the defense ministry's court that there is no reason not to return the place to Jewish hands."
There is a great demand to live there, so why not open it?" he asked.
In his appeal, Malcheli also brought up the issue of access of the Patriarchs for the disabled. He said it is astonishing that Hevron is actually being dropped from the public discourse and that the local infrastructure is frozen in a sad state under a right-wing government. "There is no reason why the place should not be opened for 3 to 5 stories and a commercial space. I want an answer from the government why this is not happening."
"I would expect the prime minister to declare before 'Shabbat Hevron' that such a move is taking place," he said. When asked if such a move would escalate tensions with the Arab population, he replied: "Security forces are able to deal with the problems. If the chief of staff says there is a problem then a great question needs to be asked. If we won't have access to higher than the seventh step anyway under the Arabs, the State of Israel is the sovereign there and we need to exercise our sovereignty in Hevron."
He added that he believes the Arabs of Hevron do not need an excuse to raise tensions. "They always try to sabotage and kill. Everything we do is a reason for them to escalate."