Hebron Settlers Present Court Audio Tape to Settle Ownership of Disputed House

High Court of Justice likely to order settlers evicted until end of legal proceedings over sale of house.

With just minutes to spare in a 24-hour time frame granted by High Court justices, Hebron settlers submitted what they called new and dramatic evidence in the case regarding a disputed house in the city that is claimed by both settlers and Palestinians.

The settlers provided an audio tape in which they say seller Faiz Rajabi tells a friend that he had sold the disputed property to Ayub Jabbar (the front man who later sold the house to the settlers) and was paid in full. Rajabi also says on the tape that he renovated the house according to specifications from Jabbar and was paid in full for the renovations. Rajabi later goes on to say that Sheikh Par'oon, a go-between, brought the money from Jabbar for the renovations. Rajabi also admitted to being pressured by Palestinian intelligence operatives, according to the settlers.

A High Court of Justice hearing Wednesday on the house, situated between Kiryat Arba and the Tomb of the Patriarchs, focused mostly around the question of ownership as an expert for the settlers refuted the state's assertions regarding the validity of the sale.

The High Court justices also said that even if the sale were valid, there may still be reason to issue an eviction order.

At the end of the hearing the justices said they will likely order the settlers evicted and the house to stand empty until the end of proceedings regarding ownership currently underway in a lower court.

The justices gave the settlers 24 hours to respond as to whether they would leave the house voluntarily.