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Ynet: "Jewish families evicted from Hebron market" & Ha'aretz: "Eviction orders approved for 2 settler-occupied Hebron stores"

In response, Peace Now Secretary General Yariv Oppenheimer said, "Despite the attempts of settlers to determine the reality around them, and to exhaust the legal system, even the appeals committee is forced to order an evacuation, due to their inability to prove ownership of the property."

5/27/08

Ynet: "Jewish families evicted from Hebron market"

2 families that moved into stores in West Bank city's market 4 years ago forced by military committee to evacuate, though given permission to appeal for legal rights to property within 60 days

By Efrat Weiss

The Military Appeals Committee on Tuesday evicted two Jewish families from the Hebron market stores in which they have been living, and instructed them to evacuate the premises within 60 days. The committee determined that the families would be allowed to file an ordered appeal requesting to rent the property.

Four years ago, the two families began residing in four stores in the Hebron wholesale market. In response, the Peace Now Movement launched a complaint against the families and the Civil Administration issued an eviction warrant.

The settlers, on their part, appealed to the Military Appeals Committee, which permitted the families to stay put until the issue was resolved. Peace Now also appealed to the High Court of Justice on the matter.

The residents of Hebron expressed their satisfaction at the decision, which stated that "the commissioner at the Civil Administration is permitted to rent the property to anyone, but the decision should only be made after much consideration has been given to security matters. and the will of the original property owners."

The committee members also decreed that the Arab renters do not currently have any right to the property, and at most they could prove that in the past they had rented the property legally in order to receive compensation for their loss.

Regarding the Jewish families the committee determined that they had entered the property without permission from the commissioner and must therefore evacuate it.

However they were allowed 60 days to file an appeal to rent the property in an organized manner, at which point the commissioner would be forced to consider the will of all parties involved. Sources said that the Arab renters would not be harmed by the lease of the property, as they have been prevented from living there for many years due to the security situation.

In response, Peace Now Secretary General Yariv Oppenheimer said, "Despite the attempts of settlers to determine the reality around them, and to exhaust the legal system, even the appeals committee is forced to order an evacuation, due to their inability to prove ownership of the property."


05/27/2008

Ha'aretz: "Eviction orders approved for 2 settler-occupied Hebron stores"

By Nadav Shragai, Haaretz Correspondent

The Judea and Samaria Appeals Committee of the Civil Administration, the Israel Defense Forces arm that governs civilian affairs in the West Bank, approved on Tuesday eviction orders for two Hebron stores occupied by settlers roughly two years ago.

The two stores are in the "triangle" market, not far from the city's Jewish Avraham Avinu neighborhood. Their Palestinian residents were evacuated from the triangle market and the nearby wholesale market after Baruch Goldstein's 1994 massacre of Muslim worshipers at the Cave of the Patriarchs and a stabbing in the area.

Some time later, after the Jewish settlers moved in, two of the merchants who had previously rented the stores asked Peace Now to approach the Civil Administration for an eviction order on their behalf.

Tuesday's decision will not go into effect for another two months, during which Yosef Ezra, a 75-year-old Jerusalem resident whose relatives owned the properties in question before 1948, can ask the state for rights to the land.

The decision to allow Ezra to seek recognition of the original owners' rights to the property was included after the settlers demonstrated their claim to it. In an aside, the judges determined that the claim of the original owners, Nissim and Ya'akov Ezra, to the property should be considered, despite the number of hands it has changed over the years.

Michael Sfard, the attorney for the former Arab renters of the stores, said that the judges' statement paves the way for Palestinians to declare their rights to properties taken from them inside Israel and the West Bank. He said he plans to use that argument when he represents Arabs claiming rights to land currently held by Jews.