Israel minister says state should encourage settlers, while Netanyahu delays eviction notice

The house in Hebron (Photo : Jewish Press)

Last week, it was reported that Israeli settlers had broken into a Hebron home, where, on Monday, they were served with an eviction notice which required them to be out later that day. Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, amid a debate on how Israel should respond to the settlement, remarked that the settlers should be allowed to stay. He added that the state should support the settlements, while allowing the Jewish settlers to pursue actions through legitimate legal channels, a right the Palestinians are denied.

Hebron’s mayor Khaled Osaily said he could prove that the bill of sale the settlers proffered was fake. “It’s all fake,” Osaily said to Israel’s Army Radio. “The person who sold the house to the settlers is not the owner…I am sure of this.” Although the eviction notice required that they be out that same day, Netanyahu asked that the notice be delayed, in order to allow the family to pursue legal action, according to a government official. This delay comes on the heels of many in Netanyahu’s Likud party questioning his loyalty to the settlements. Most Likud party members support the settlements; Netanyahu, in the past, supported Sharon’s disengagement plan, which called for the demolition of settlements.

Katz was saddened by the eviction notice, saying, “I came here to support the settlers. I think Jews have a right to buy a house anywhere in the world, and I’ll do everything to allow them to stay.” He also criticized the Palestinian Authority, alleging they have threatened the Jewish settlers. The settlers meanwhile claim they purchased the property legally, even showing evidence of money transfers, and thus had legal right to take over the house. The settlers are illegal under international law.

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