Did the Israeli settlers take advantage of Shirin Abu Oqla’s funeral to “settlement in a Palestinian building” in Hebron?

A question asked by Fred, Peter and “PB” on May 13, 14 and 15.

You ask us about viral videos that show a group of men, women and children taking over a building in Hebron, a city in the West Bank that is partly occupied by Israel. These photos were published in various publications on social networks, some of which have accumulated hundreds of thousands of views, and these photos are perceived differently according to the convictions of Internet users. For some, by supporting the Israeli development line for settlements, the establishment of new families in Hebron makes it possible to move forward. In the Zionist dream. For others, this sequence is embodied in defending the end of the occupation of part of the Palestinian territories “All the ugliness of colonialism”.

Between the colony and the holy place

It’s Friday, in the middle of the afternoon, this joint One of the videos was sent to CheckNews. We see crowds wandering along a stationary bus: after removing their belongings from the car, the individuals carry their bags, coolers and other mattresses in the direction of the same building. The tweet says: “Hebron today. The settlers rushed to storm a Palestinian building in the city, taking advantage of the absence of its people who left to attend the funeral of Shireen Abu Aqle. All the ugliness of colonialism, and the dehumanization it causes, is summarized in the picture (sic) ». On the same day, the funeral of the Palestinian-American journalist from Al-Jazeera, who was killed Wednesday in Jenin – the exact circumstances of his death are not yet known.

A few hours ago, this sequence appeared on social networks, via accounts owned by Israelis. One of them downloaded it yet another videowhich shows the same scene in a larger shot, revealing that other vehicles have been unloaded, and that the number of people at the site reaches dozens. “Another building in the Holy City of Hebron has been evacuated. Look at all these families who want to take back the land […] Continue the Zionist dream! “ The caption says. In similar photos, this time posted on Facebook, a moving truck is emptied, in which tall piles of chairs are stored.

Also on Friday noon, a spokesman for the Jewish community in Hebron publishes Fourth video Which consists of a visit to the building: After a tour of the living space, the sequence continues on the roof of the building, where the Israeli flags have been installed. Facing disapproving comments Palestinian house robbery in broad daylightThe author of the tweet responds: “Jews broke in while the residents of the building were out??? Please stop the lies. The place has no running water or electricity – no one lived there – it was just a skeleton and it was sold by an ordinary Arab to an ordinary Jew.” After the settlement, the settlers celebrated their arrival with evidence Video filmed on Saturday night.

The scene is located in Hebron, about thirty kilometers south of Jerusalem. The population of this city, the most populous in the West Bank, is between 200 thousand and 215,000 Palestinians, according to the sources. To which must be added a small community of 700 to 1,000 Israelis, spread over several apartment complexes located in a part of the city under Israeli military control. Among these settlements is Kiryat Arba (marked by the green rectangle on the map).

If most of the town was under the control of the Palestinian Authority, its historical center was occupied by the Israeli army for twenty-five years. In this part of the city there is a sacred monument, the object of lust of both Muslims and Jews (the blue circle on the map): it is called the Ibrahim Mosque for the first, the vault of the patriarchs for the last, today it is divided into a mosque and a synagogue.

CheckNews He was able to determine the geographical location of the building in question (the exact location that can be reached here), and to represent it on the map with a red triangle. It is along an important road, reached to reach the Tomb of the Patriarchs (or Ibrahim Mosque, therefore) from the settlement of Kiryat Arba. The building, which covers an area of ​​1,200 square meters and consists of three floors, was christened according to the Palestinian News Agency, WAFA “Hatikoma House” (“House of Resurrection”). And the “Harchivi” association, which is responsible for the project to buy homes in Hebron, announced on Friday that fifteen families lived there even before the restoration work was completed.

So everything indicates that videos that have gone viral are showing Israeli settlers moving into a building in the Palestinian city of Hebron. Do they have the right? is she “Palestinian building” Does it mean belonging to a Palestinian owner? And the settlers did “Benefited from the absence of its inhabitants” to settle there?

Building surrounded by the army

On the Israeli side, this installation project is surely perfectly legal. MK Miri Regev, a member of Likud (a right-wing party that includes former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu), said in comments reported by Channel Seven news media: “The House of Resurrection was purchased religiously and legally in the ancestral city of Hebron, and it is registered. Therefore, there is no possibility to challenge the legality of the purchase.” The Jerusalem Post He adds, in an article published on Saturday, that their intention has been known since these families “Already accessed about a month ago” to the building.

As reported by the Harchivi . Association “Religious and Legal Buying”. The latter also requests, through a petition, financial assistance for the project to install settlers. “The costs of entering and staying in the house are high, in addition to the high costs of legal aid and the purchase itself.”, she explained. Previous homes – including “Hashalom”, “Hamashbala”, “Rachel” or “Lea” – were once seized by Hartshevi to settle settlers there, already causing tensions with the Palestinians in Hebron.

Regarding Hatikoma House, Miri Regev called on Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister, Benny Gantz, to prevent any attempt to evacuate the 15 families that were housed in the building. Video from an Arabic news site Middle East Eye It turned out that Tzhal soldiers (the Israeli army) deployed around the building to prevent the residents of Hebron from approaching the settlers.

Because the legitimacy of this occupation is in dispute between Palestinians and Israelis opposed to colonialism. The Israeli daily newspaper (arranged on the left) Ha’aretz He asserts that the settlers do not have the necessary permits to live there. The settlers claim that they bought the house but Ha’aretz They knew they had not received a transaction permit.”He writes the newspaper.

A permit is required to buy a house in the West BankDetails of the article published on Saturday. This permit is the first step in the registration procedure and indicates the Civil Administration’s acknowledgment of payment for housing. In the case of the building in Hebron, a transaction permit was not issued to the settlers’ association. In any case, after the issuance of the transaction permit, a lengthy procedure for clarifying ownership is required with the Civil Administration Registration Commission. This procedure could take years, and in this case it has not yet begun.”

As for the Peace Now movement, which promotes a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it admitted in a press release that it does not have “There is no information regarding the alleged transaction in this case.”. But, on the basis of past experience, very puzzled by the existence of a legally concluded purchase: “We know from many other cases in Hebron and the West Bank that these are questionable purchases, sometimes based on tampering or the purchase of only small portions of property.”

Many owners have reported themselves to the media, so it is still impossible to know who owns the house or who previously owned it. Actually, Muhammad al-Jabari, a Palestinian resident of Jerusalem, told Haaretz that he owns the building registered in his name, and that he complained [vendredi soir] Police at the settlers’ entrance. However, he sent to the loyalty agency another name for Walid Al-Jabari. “a local Palestinian citizen”. The only certainty, according to information received from Wafa, is that the building has been empty since it was being restored when the Israeli settlers settled in it. So it was not possible to expel any residents.

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