Photo Credit: courtesy, Beit Ha'Shalom / Wikimedia
Hebron's Beit Ha'Shalom (House of Peace), September 2008

Fifteen Jewish families who moved last week into Beit Ha’Tekuma, a new building on the outskirts of Hebron between Kiryat Arba and the Cave of the Patriarchs, called on members of the public on Sunday to join them in barricading themselves in the building.

In response, hundreds of activists and supporters arrived to join them after news was received that Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz plans to evict the families from the building, located near a building called “Beit Ha’Shalom” — House of Peace.

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“This evacuation is planned primarily due to political concerns over this narrow coalition government,” the 15 families charged in a statement released Sunday.

Warning that “elections are in the offing” the families said the government has a “need to sacrifice the settler public, a large portion of which voted for the right-wing segment in the coalition, to keep the Muslim Brotherhood in the government at any cost.”

The Haaretz news site quoted unnamed security sources in a report that claimed the new Jewish residents did not legally register the property and do not have a proper permit to inhabit the building.

Mahmoud Jabari, an Arab resident of Jerusalem, told Haaretz that he is the owner of the property and that he had filed a complaint with police over the issue.

The Hebron Jewish municipality – which is separate from the municipality of the Arab section of the city — maintains the building was purchased by Jewish residents from its prior Arab owners.

IDF soldiers are securing the site and the families despite the dispute.

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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.