The 3 p.m. deadline for the evacuation of the newly-settled house in Hebron passed without implementation of the order.
No statement has been released by Defense Minister Ehud Barak or the Defense Ministry in the few hours since the ministry reiterated that the deadline was still in effect.
According to reports in major Israeli news outlets, Netanyahu had asked Defense Minister Ehud Barak to delay the eviction “to allow the settlers to pursue action through legal channels.” The request was later subject to much confusion, as the tenants were led to believe that Netanyahu had asked to revoke the order, while the Defense Ministry asserted that the Prime Minister simply requested that the tenants be permitted to prove their case to the authorities before the order is to be implemented.
“The Prime Minister’s request was misinterpreted. The order was not withdrawn,” a Defense Ministry statement said. “The settlers were given until 3 p.m. to prove what they need to prove. If they fail, the law will be enforced.” Still, sources in the Defense Ministry clarified that “additional considerations” are now being examined on how to perform the evacuation and at what time to implement it.
Shlomo Levinger, a resident of and spokesman for the house said that the house was legally acquired and all the documents to prove it have been given to the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria.
Nationalist MKs have offered their support of the Hebron house and its residents. Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz visited the house on Tuesday morning and helped put up a mezuza in the entryway. “If someone was disputing the legality of the purchase, it would be a different situation,” Katz said. “A decision on such a move should be undertaken by the government and not just by one ministry. Barak does not alone decide on evacuations.”
Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely also visited the house and said that the “Defense Minister cannot make political provocations concerning our right to Eretz Israel…The residents will Residents in celebrate the Passover Seder here, as well as many holidays to come.”
Meanwhile, Hebron’s mayor Khaled Osaily told Israel Army Radio that the purchase was a sham. “It’s all fake,” he said, “The person who sold the house to the settlers is not the owner.”