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Israeli prosecution delays presenting case against settlers occupying Hebron home

Sept. 11, 2017 12:01 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 12, 2017 9:46 A.M.)
(File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- The Israeli state prosecution has asked the Israeli Supreme Court for another week to prepare its case over a Palestinian home in the Old City of Hebron that was forcibly taken over by extremist Israeli settlers in Late July, according to Israeli news daily Haaretz.

The settlers claimed that they purchased the rights to the home, though the Palestinian homeowners -- the Abu Rajab family -- and the Israeli state have maintained that the settlers forged the documents.

The state of Israel ordered the 15 settlers families living in the Abu Rajab house to evacuate last month, however, the Israeli Supreme Court ordered last week to delay the evacuation based on an appeal submitted by the settlers.

According to Israeli media reports, the settlers’ appeal was based on the same erroneous ownership claims to the property -- which is referred to as Beit HaMachpela by the settlers -- that have already been debunked in previous legal proceedings.

When the court agreed to delay the eviction, Israeli settlement watchdog Peace Now wrote: "The settlers' petition is absolutely outrageous and its baseless arguments have been rejected again and again in previous legal proceedings. After having been granted an independent administration a few days ago, it is no wonder the Hebron settlers feel empowered to do as they wish, while ignoring the law and on the expense of Palestinians."

On Saturday, Hazem Abu Rajab told Ma'an that the Israeli settlers who were occupying his family’s home hurled stones at his 55-year-old mother while she was on the stairs, on the ground floor of three-story building.

She was evacuated to Hebron's governmental hospital for treatment, suffering from a cut on her face.

Located in the center of Hebron -- one of the largest cities in the occupied West Bank -- the Old City was divided into Palestinian and Israeli-controlled areas, H1 and H2, following the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre. The Abu Rajab home is located near to this mosque.

Some 800 notoriously aggressive Israeli settlers now live under the protection of the Israeli military in the Old City, surrounded by more than 30,000 Palestinians.

Palestinian residents of the Old City face a large Israeli military presence on a daily basis, with at least 20 checkpoints set up at the entrances of many streets, as well as the entrance of the Ibrahimi Mosque itself.

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