Jewish Life Returns to Beit HaMachpela

Jewish families move into property near Tomb of Machpela, defying skeptics of land sale.

20.8.17, 20:47
Jewish residents of Hebron returned to the vacant property of Beit Hamachpela on Tuesday July 25, 2017 in response to the horrific murder in Halamish in which a terrorist killed three unarmed civilians in their home. The re-entry also comes following another success in the drawn-out legal battle about zoning permits for the building.

Beit HaMachpela is a four-story building across from the parking lot in front of the Tomb of Machpela in the Israeli-controlled side of Hebron. The property was legally purchased in 2012 but the sellers, fearing repercussions from the Palestinian Authority claimed to not have sold the building. The Civil Administration and Defense Ministry claimed the deeds were not reliable and forcibly evicted the residents.  
MK Tzipi Hotovely Visits Beit HaMachpela in 2012

Beit HaMachpela was legally purchased in 2012. Five years of politically motivated legal hurdles are now being passed. Check out this interview with Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely - ציפי חוטובלי in 2012, then a first-term Member of Knesset, explaining why Jewish people have the right to purchase property in Hebron. #Hebron #TzipiHotovely #BeitHaMachpela

Posted by Hebron Jewish Community and Biblical Heritage Site on Friday, July 28, 2017
The Palestinian Authority resident who arranged the sale of the property, Muhammad Abu Shahala, was arrested for the crime of selling land to Jews. He was sentenced to death, but for the past five years, has still been in prison. The Jewish Community of Hebron sent a petition to the United Nations pleading for a stay of execution.
At one time, the Abu Rajab clan of Hebron had occupied the building. Various family members have since publicly claimed that no sale had taken place.

In 2013 the Military Appeals Committee accepted an appeal and determined that the Jewish purchasers registration process did indeed meet threshold conditions.

In June 2017, the Appeals Committee again determined in favor of the Jewish purchasers that the Preliminary Registration Committee erred in a series of errors and ostensibly ignored documents submitted to it. It was decided to return the hearing to the First Registration Committee to review all the documents in the case.

The Jewish Community of Hebron issued a statement about the re-entering of the property:

On Tuesday, in the month of Menachem Av, we entered Beit HaMachpela located across the street from the Tomb of Machpela in Hebron. The building now houses about 100 people -- 15 families, men, women, children and babies. Beit HaMachpela was purchased several years ago, but forcibly evicted by the Civil Administration and Ministry of Defense. 
In these days of bloodshed, we call upon the government to vigorously raise the banner of settlement and loyalty to the Land of Israel.

In the face of the murder of unarmed Jewish civilians, we demand that the Government of Israel allow the families to live in Beit HaMachpela immediately.

Although the Civil Administration declared the area a closed military zone, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the Defense Ministry not to evict the residents from the premises.
POSTSCRIPT: In March 2018, Jewish residents left Beit HaMachpela. 
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