HEBRON – On April 11th, Palestinians, Israelis and international convened at the Al-Rajabi building to protest the illegal expansion of Israeli settlements in Hebron, near the settlement of Kiryat Arba. Human rights advocates have opposed the takeover of the Palestinian building, as it poses a grave impediment on the sovereignty of the Palestinian community of Hebron and obstacles to peace and security for both Israelis and Palestinians.
The Palestinian community has fighting the legality of the forced displacement through Israel’s legal system since 2007.
Early in March of 2007, Jewish settler broke in the Al-Rajabi building and took siege of the Palestinian property under the protection of the Israeli military. The Hebron Rehabilitation Committee and the Palestinian petitioned the Israeli Supreme Court and were successful to evict the Israeli settlers in 2008 until the ownership could be determined, during which the investigation revealed the documents of purchase were forged, and acknowledge so by the court. The forgery was substantiated by the Criminal Investigation Laboratory of the Israeli Police and by the Israeli prosecution.
Despite the fact of the proof of forgery, the case moved on decisively in favor of the Israeli settlers.
On March 11th, 2014, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that the Israeli settlers should pay the Palestinian owner of the building the amount specified in the forged sale documents.
Palestinians, Israelis and International Human Rights Advocates call upon the Israeli government to stop the settlement expansion under international and Israeli law, and call up on the international community to speak out.
The settlement expansion of the Al Rajabi house will essentially cut off Palestinian communities from each other, and Israeli’s long history of utilizing security measurements to annex further Palestinian land around the Al Rajabi house will jeopardize more Palestinian families. The Al Rajabi house sits in between the Givat Ha’vot settlement and Kiryat Arba settlement, and confiscation of this building will alienate hundreds of Palestinians from access to the central economic hub of Hebron.
For more on the logistic and demographics, please see this map.