Settlers Threaten 'Amona'-style Riots Over Hebron Eviction

Rightists urge resistance after High Court orders settlers to vacate Palestinian home within 3 days.

The High Court on Sunday instructed settlers occupying a house in Hebron to evacuate it within three days, but a coalition of right-wing organizations, MKs and West Bank rabbis said they plan to oppose the move firmly.

In an emergency meeting on Sunday in the settlement of Kiryat Arba - the house is located between the settlement and Hebron - the opponents of the evacuation pledged that the settlers would not be removed by Wednesday as the court had demanded. Their resistance, they said, would be "uncompromising, but not violent."

"If the house is evacuated, there will be Amona part two here," said a participant at the meeting, referring to the February 2006 clashes between settlers and security forces during the evacuation of a West Bank outpost.

The emergency meeting was organized by Rabbi Dov Lior, the head of the rabbinical committee in Judea and Samaria and the rabbi of Kiryat Arba. "We learned the lesson of Gush Katif," the meeting participant said. "Here nobody intends to win with love."

The rabbis participating in the meeting said soldiers and police taking part in the evacuation must disobey orders. One even suggested a monetary reward for those willing to disobey. The house in question, nicknamed Beit Hameriva (House of Confilct), is a four-story structure next to the "Worshippers' Route" leading from Kiryat Arba to Hebron's Tomb of the Patriarchs.

In 2004, a group of settlers bought the building from its Palestinian owner. The owner later claimed, however, that he had not received full payment, so the deal was null and void. The settlers said the deal was still in effect and demanded ownership of the building. In March 2007 some 150 settlers forcibly entered the house, and since then have waged a legal battle over it.

In December 2007, the settlers petitioned the High Court of Justice to order the state not to carry out the evacuation, but on Sunday that petition was denied and the settlers were ordered to leave within three days. High Court President Dorit Beinisch and Justices Ayala Procaccia and Salim Joubran ruled that evidence held by the state allows it to use force to return the house to its owner.

Shlomo Levinger, one of the settlers occupying the property, told Haaretz that "we will fight like someone fighting for his house."