Hebron settlers have started distributing Tuesday a videotape that they claim establishes their ownership of a house that has been at the center of a bitter dispute
between Jews and Palestinians in recent months.
Last March settlers took over the house, which a local Palestinian claims belongs to him, and have been living there ever since, despite repeated attempts by the authorities to evacuate them from the property. The High Court is scheduled to discuss a petition on the matter Thursday, and may order its evacuation.
|The transaction. Arrow points to Baiz Rajbi |
The video released by the settlers allegedly depicts the sale of the house by Baiz Rajbi, the house's owner and a Palestinian from Hebron, and his partner to a "straw man" representing the settlers.
In the video, Rajbi and his partner are discussing the transaction, which was finalized at the village of al-Azarya north of Jerusalem in 2004.
"We paid a substantial sum for this house," Said Orit Struck of the Hebron Jewish community. ""Neither the police nor the State Prosecution deny this, and they are using dubious legal arguments to justify the evacuation."
According to the State Prosecution, Rajbi is the legal owner of the house, and the documents presented by the settlers to prove their right to the property have been forged.
Meanwhile, the Hebron Jewish community has also filed an ownership claim with the Jerusalem District Court, and has requested that the High Court hearing be postponed until the District Court rules on the matter.