The climax of this is happening, ironically enough, on the week where we read in the Torah about the first Jewish asset in the land of Israel at the hands of the first Jew, Abraham, who acquired the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron – located so close to the house in question.
First, the facts: The House of Peace was acquired for more than one million shekels, by payments transferred through a mediator to the home’s owner, Faiz Rajbi. The payments were undertaken from March 2004 to March 2005. The agreement clearly stated that ownership of the house is transferred to the purchasers at the time of sale. These facts were also confirmed by the Israel Police’s labs.
There is a report ruling that the receipts presented by the Jewish purchasers for the payments they made are all authentic and are not suspected to be forgeries. The sale agreement itself is also not suspected to be forged in the view of the Israel Police.
In the phase between the purchase and its realization, the Jewish settlers locked the home and it stood empty for a month and a half.
As the house is located at a strategic site, near Kiryat Arba, and dominates the road from it to the Cave of the Patriarchs where tens of thousands of visitors pass yearly, the IDF entered the empty building and set up a dominating position on its roof.
After about two years, as part of the preparations for Jewish entry into the building, in light of the need to renovate it, more money was handed over to Faiz Rajbi through the mediator so that he renovate the home and make it fit for residence. The renovation work was carried out, and Jews moved into the home in March 2007.
These facts are undisputed. In an audiotape, Rajbi recounts the fact that he renovated the building on behalf of the mediator. However, both the Prosecutor’s Office and the courts refused to listen to this tape for some reason. This enabled the Prosecutor’s Office to continue arguing against the move of residents into the house.
Therefore, both the Prosecutor’s Office and the High Court of Justice endorsed Mr. Rajbi’s claim that he never sold the house; however, this claim was disproven by the police probe. After he heard the audiotape, Rajbi changed his version of the story: He said he sold the house but annulled the sale back in 2004. This version is written in all documents submitted to the various courts. However, this version too was disproved by the police labs, which ruled that the receipts issued by him up until March 2005 are authentic.
How can the State Prosecutor’s Office, which is supposed to be representing the Jewish state, back Mr. Rajbi when there is an audiotape where he tells his friend how he sold the house, received full payment, and renovated it in line with the mediator’s request – he also tells his friend about being harassed by the Palestinian Authority.
Where can we find a supreme court that would condemn the High Court for showing contempt to the law and to the Israeli nation? And what great foresight did the smartest man of all, King Solomon, have when he ruled that “where there is no vision, the people perish”?
Benny Katzover heads the Samaria Settlers’ Committee