Israel's High Court Freezes Removal of Settlers Who Broke Into Hebron Building

After petitioning the court over a building embroiled in an ownership dispute, the settlers are allowed to stay in the building until a ruling is made

Israeli border police at the Machpelah House in the West Bank city of Hebron on July 26, 2017.
Israeli border police at the Machpelah House in the West Bank city of Hebron on July 26, 2017. Nasser Shiyoukhi/AP

Israel's High Court released an injunction on Sunday, allowing the settlers who broke into a building in Hebron to remain there, until a ruling is made. The settlers petitioned the court on Sunday, requesting they be allowed to stay in the building, after attorney general Avichai Mendelblit gave them an ultimatum that they would be removed if they did not come to a compromise with the defense ministry.

The settlers assert that they purchased the three-story building from a member of the Abu Rajab family who was later arrested by the Palestinian Authority. The family denies that this man had the right to sell the house. The Abu Rajab family of Hebron has petitioned the High Court of Justice to demand the evacuation of the building known as Machpelah House, which they claim they own.

The Civil Administration had determined in the past that the sale transaction was invalid, but an appeals committee criticized that decision and said the purchase must be reexamined