The Israeli Supreme Court will decide the future of the Al-Rajabi family building, located in Hebron’s H2, on September 2, 2013. The building is situated in a valley at the southern entrance of the Kiryat Arba settlement, in a strategic location that could link this settlement to five other nearby settlements around Hebron’s Old City.
When did it all begin?
On 19 March 2007, approximately 200 settlers occupied the building and claimed to have purchased it. The settlers launched a campaign of attacks against Palestinian families and their property in an effort to pressure Palestinians to move away from the area. Their efforts were supplemented by an increased presence of Israeli soldiers in the area to provide security for the settlers, which resulted in severe movement and access restrictions for Palestinians.
On 17 November 2008, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that the ownership deed produced by the settlers was forged, and declared that the ownership of the building should only be decided after the case has gone through all levels of litigation in the Israeli Judicial system. The settlers were ordered to vacate the building, which they did, while injuring approximately 25 Palestinian civilians, damaging seven cars, and vandalizing three homes in the process.
Determining the future
In July 2013, the Israeli district court granted ownership to Israeli settlers, despite proof that they used forged and illegal ownership documents. The Hebron Rehabilitation Committee appealed the July decision and now awaits the final decision of the case on September 2, which will determine the future of the building.
“The community feels it is in a lose-lose situation. If Israeli Supreme Court grants settlers ownership, Palestinians will have lost part of their community,” noted a former EAPPI observer in Hebron. ”If the court does not grant settlers ownership, Palestinians fear reprisal from the settlers as happened in the past.”
Take action to protect the Al-Rajabi building
With the court decision only 1 week away, you can help protect the Al-Rajabi building. Sign the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee’s petition HERE.
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