A special military committee ruled on July 1 that the Machpela House, situated in Hebron, was legally acquired by its Jewish owners.
The house was inhabited during April 2012, but a few days later former Minister of Defense Ehud Barak ordered the forceful evacuation of the house by the police, claiming the legality of the purchase was questionable. Over a year later, a special committee ruled that the house was lawfully owned by its Jewish purchasers. They further ordered that the court expenses be paid by the State of Israel. The decision still requires the final authorization the Minister of Defense Yaalon.
Yifat Alkobi, a local Hebron resident, told the Tazpit News Agency a year ago, when the house was inhabited: “A home has been purchased for Jewish dwelling–we are moving in and celebrating this momentous occasion.” The home is located opposite the Tomb of Patriarchs (Cave of Machpela), one of Judaism’s most sacred sites. “To think that we merited to own a home so close to the Cave of Machpela and to follow in the footsteps of our forefather, Abraham, who purchased this burial area nearly 4,000 years ago, is an honor,” exclaimed Alkobi. Yifat and her family, including eight children moved into the newly purchased home along with several other local Jewish families. They now hope to return.
David Pearl, head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council embraced the decision, stating: “Today’s decision brings into question many similar decisions made by the security system, in regards to the Machpela House or other places in Judea and Samaria, including Migron and Amona, where the decision was to use force and violence before the Jewish purchaser’s claims were properly checked. I am glad that there are new winds of integrity and truth, of agreement and understanding blowing in the Ministry of Defense, and we believe that this is the proper way to lead the country in general and to relate to issues in Judea and Samara. There is no doubt these winds will further promote the communities of Judea and Samaria.”