Disputed house in Hebron
Photo: Sameh Shahin
Jewish residents of Hebron submitted an audio tape to the High Court of Justice on Thursday, as part of their case against a Palestinian who claimed that they had moved into a house belonging to him. In the tape, the Palestinian is heard admitting he had sold the house to a realtor.
The plaintiff filed a petition against the residents in May of 2007, after 20 Jewish families moved into the disputed house in Hebron. The families claim to have paid for the property, while the Palestinian claims they seized it illegally.
Court suspends Civil Administration's decision to remove Jewish residents from house allegedly owned by local Palestinian
On Wednesday, High Court judges ruled that the residents would be evicted, and gave them 24 hours to decide whether they agree to go peacefully.
But on Thursday the defendants submitted a tape to the court in which the plaintiff could be heard telling his friend he had sold the property to a Palestinian realtor. He also said a local Sheikh had given him money to renovate the house, at the request of the realtor. He added that he was under pressure from Palestinian intelligence.
The tape was submitted along with a deposition from the man who had taped the call. According to the Jewish residents of Hebron, the call is a "heart to heart" discussion devoid of fear and suspicion, and the first true version of events.
The residents' attorney, Nadav Haatzani, claims the tape could tip the scales in the case.
"This new evidence has the power to put an end to the dispute over the question of purchase and over the question of renovation and maintenance," he wrote in an appeal to the prosecution, asking it to delay the eviction pending further clarification.
"Clearly this unambiguous confession sheds new light on the case and forces you to reconsider your stance on the eviction order issued," he concluded.