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Extremist minister pushes Netanyahu to allow seizure of house in Hebron

Hours after the death of an Israeli soldier, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a directive to occupy a Palestinian house near to the Al-Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron.

Israeli settlers had previously claimed ownership of the Palestinian house based on documents that were later proven to be forgeries. Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya'alon had ordered settlers to evacuate it until a court order is issued for re-occupying it.

However in the wake of the shooting of an Israeli soldier in Hebron by a sniper, Netanyahu said: "Those who try to uproot us from the city of our fathers will achieve only the opposite." It has not yet been confirmed whether the sniper was Palestinian or Israeli.

After a meeting with Israeli Minister of Economy Naftali Bennett, who has rebuked him in the past for not allowing more settlements, Netanyahu said: "With one hand we will fight terror and with the other we will strengthen [our] settlement."

The Israeli settlers occupied the house first in April 2012, when a settler claimed that he had documents proving he purchased it. Israel's civil administration in the West Bank announced later on that the documents were faked and therefore it did not approve of the occupation.

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