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."