Settlers in the Hebron house
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Fais Rajabi - the legal owner?
Photo: Samah Shahin

'Settlers forged ownership of Hebron house'

State prosecutors claim police investigation reveals settlers from Hebron presented forged documents to prove ownership over disputed house. But case remains open as contradictions in Palestinian story come to light

The documentation submitted by Hebron settlers as proof of their legal ownership of the disputed house in the city may be a forgery – this according to the State prosecution on Tuesday in its answer to the High Court of Justice. The petition against the settlers was filed by a Palestinian who claims the settlers illegally seized his property.


"Different documents presented to the State, which allegedly support the claim made by Tal Investments and the settlers, have been found to be forgeries or there exists serious doubt regarding their authenticity," said the State's reply based on the testimony of the police forensics department.


The house in Hebron. Illegal? (Photo: AFP)


"The aforementioned forensic findings strengthen the claim of the plaintiff against those of the defendants on several issues regarding the transfer of ownership of the property," said the prosecution.


However, said State representatives, the story is not conclusive since it is not known for certain that the settler's claims of purchasing the house are untrue.


"In terms of administrative evidence to support their expulsion, there is still strong reasonable doubt regarding several key points. For instance the plaintiff admits he made a deal to transfer ownership of the property to a third party, but he presents no documentation to support his claim that he canceled the deal later on.


Hebron Jewish community spokesman Noam Arnon said in response that he "trusts that the purchase was legal and valid. Things will clear up in the future."


Some three months ago a group of 200 settlers arrived at a large house situated near the main route connecting Kiryat Arba to the Tomb of the Patriarchs. The settlers said they had legally bought the land and that they had no intention of leaving.


Efrat Weiss contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 07.03.07, 18:32
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