A year and three months after the eviction of Hebron's Machpelah house, a military court appeals committee ruled that the house was lawfully purchased.
It thus rejected claims by the Civil Administration and Defense Ministry that there were irregularities with the purchase. The decision will pave the way for the settlers' return to the house but is still subject to the authorization of Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon.
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The Machpelah house first caught public attention last April when settlers moved into it in the middle of the night claiming they legally bought the property.
Hebron's Machpelah house (Archive photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)
Several days later, after having received visits by rightist ministers and Knesset members, the house was evicted on the orders of then Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
The Defense Ministry and Civil Administration claimed that the reason behind the eviction were irregularities in the purchase agreement which prevent the provision of permits by the Administration. The settlers then turned to the appeals committee which ruled in their favor.
The court ordered the State to cover the legal costs of the proceedings and criticized the Civil Administration for its handling of the issue remarking that "this conduct is not in line with what is expected of (the Administration.)"
The settlers are now expecting to receive Ya'alon final approval which would allow them to move back into the house.
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