Photo Credit: Stephen Leavitt / JewishPress.com
Muhammad Abu Shahala sold the Machpelah House in Hebron to Jews. For this violation of PA law he was sentenced to death.

Jewish residents of the Machpela House (also known as House of the Patriarchs) in Hebron are safe for another week after the High Court of Justice agreed to issue a temporary restraining order preventing their eviction from the building.

On July 25, 15 Jewish families moved into the apartment building, which is fully paid for, despite not having been able to complete the registration process for the building in their name with the IDF Civil Administration, which wants them barred from entering their property.

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In the past, a registration committee determined the settlers were not able to prove the legality of their purchase of the building, but an appeals committee recently determined the registration committee had erred in its decision, and ruled that the same registration committee must hold another hearing on the Jewish owners’ request to register their property.

Several government ministers have expresssed their support for the entry of the residents, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordering Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman not to evacuate them “until further notice.”

The restraining order was issued by the Court on Sunday night (Sept. 3) and blocks their expulsion by the Civil Administration for the next week.

The residents filed the petition via the “Harchivei Makom Oholech” organization, demanding to be allowed to stay in the building they purchased five years ago, stating, “the Palestinian Authority is persecuting the Arab seller, and the Civil Administration therefore pursues us.”

They argued that the state’s position regarding the registration of the house has no legal basis “when the law that applies in Hebron doesn’t require initial registration of an asset in order to possess it.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.