Jewish Residents Celebrate Purchase of Home in Hebron
Thursday morning found the settlement community of Hebron in very high spirits. “It’s an historical day,” Yifat Alkobi, a local Hebron resident, told the Tazpit News Agency. “A home has been purchased for Jewish dwelling–we are moving in and celebrating this momentous occasion.”
The home is located opposite the Tomb of Patriarchs (Cave of Machpela), one of Judaism’s most sacred sites. “To think that we merited to own a home so close to the Cave of Machpela and to follow in the footsteps of our forefather, Abraham, who purchased this burial area nearly 4,000 years ago, is an honor,” exclaimed Alkobi.
Yifat and her family, including eight children moved into the newly purchased home on Wednesday night along with several other local Jewish families. “The kids left their computer, the comforts of their home without complaint once they realized how special this event was,” explained Alkobi.
According to Shlomo Levinger, who oversaw the purchasing of the home with a group of residents in Hebron, the process took several years and only a few months ago, the legal documents had been finalized. “The documents for the purchase of the home were given to the police, who at first glance saw that everything was done legally and granted permission for the purchase. Now, the police are conducting further investigation into the property rights.”
“We purchased this home so we could live here—no one is going to be evacuated or forced to leave,” Levinger told Tazpit News Agency.
This was not the first time that property has been purchased by Jewish residents in Hebron. “There have several other homes in the area over the years that have been bought,” explained Levinger. “In some cases, the police and courts granted permission and families are now living in the homes today. But on other occasions, the courts ordered otherwise.”
Member of Knesset Uri Ariel (National Union) declared that the current purchase of the Hebron home was “definitely legal.” Ariel visited the Hebron home on Thursday and called upon the Minister of Defense, Ehud Barak to rescue the former Arab owner in PA custody. “His life is in danger, as we have seen in the past,” said Ariel.
According to Palestinian Authority law, it is a crime for Palestinians to sell property to Jews and doing so is an offense punishable by death. The most recent report of such a killing took place in 2011 when an Arab man in Jerusalem was killed for allegedly selling a house to Jewish settlers on the Mount of Olives.