The dozen or so Jewish families that recently moved into a house located near the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron received eviction orders from the IDF on Monday .
The order states that the families must evacuate the premises by 3:00 PM Tuesday, on the grounds that their presence disrupts public order. The family insists they have complied with all of the procedural requirements and are appealing to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak to revoke the order. Meanwhile, nationalist MKs expressed outrage that the Defense Minister assumed the role of judge, jury, and executioner in the matter, and disregarded the rule of law in invoking the order.
Although the IDF does not dispute that the property was purchased legally, the order stated: “After reviewing all the findings that were passed on to the authorities, and after weighing all the circumstances, it was decided to restore the status quo ante – that is, the situation that existed before the settlers entered the building. This decision of the authorities is based on considerations of public order.”
Shlomo Levinger, one of the residents in the Hebron house, told the Jewish Press that the order “is clearly and purely a political decision by Barak. He is just looking for an excuse..If he needs a reason, he should just admit that he doesn’t want Jews to live in the shade of the Cave of the Patriarchs. But it’s important for Barak to know that Am Yisrael is strong.”
When asked what the residents plan to do at the hour of eviction, Levinger said: “Baruch Hashem, we will live in this house for a long time to come.”
Infrastructure Minister Eli Yishai responded to the eviction order by addressing Netanyahu: “I request that you review the facts in a fair and just manner, and not according to the political winds. I would be happy for the issue to be brought before the broader forum of the security cabinet.”
MK Zeev Elkin and Arieh Eldad, the top MKs in the Land of Israel caucus in the Knesset, demanded that the Prime Minister revoke the “scandalous” evacuation order immediately. “The text of the decree, demanding the evacuation of the house only on account of ‘public order’ considerations testifies to the fitness of the property purchase,” their joint statement said. “It can’t be that ‘public order’ in the City of the Patriarchs means denying Jewish residence in front of the Tomb of the Patriarchs. The Defense Minister cannot be a judge unto himself…without even a cabinet deliberation over the matter.”