“I will drive them out before you little by little, until you have increased and possess the land.” Exodus 23:30 (The Israel Bible™)
Dozens of Hebron residents took over the Hebron building known as Beit Hamachpela late Tuesday afternoon, in what they said was a response to the massacre of three members of the Salomon family in the Samarian community of Neve Tzuf (Halamish) on Friday.
Some 15 families are believed to have entered the three-storey building near the Tomb of the Patriarchs, which settlers say they purchased from private Palestinian owners. In 2015 however the IDF Civil Administration rejected their ownership of the building saying they had not “proven purchase of the property, nor the possession of it.”
Minister of Jerusalem Affairs and Minister of Environmental Protection Ze’ev Elkin praised the move at a meeting of the Likud Knesset faction, and called on the prime minister and the defense minister to allow the families to remain in the building as an “appropriate nationalist response.”
The settlers have occupied the building before in the past, but have been evicted twice, in 2009 and 2015.
“Beit Hamachpela was purchased several years ago, but the government of Israel shamefully prevents the families from taking up residence in the property they purchased without any legal or moral justification,” representatives of the 15 families said.
“At this time when Jewish blood is being spilled, we call on the government to proudly raise the flag of settlement in the Land of Israel. In the face of the murder of Jews and national stammering, we demand that the government of Israel allow the families to take up residence at Beit Hamachpela forthwith.”