Two years after they were evicted by the authorities, Jewish settlers occupied two more Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron on Tuesday, Arab48.com has reported. Reports say that 20 settler families invaded the two homes, which are located near the Ibrahimi Mosque and are not far from the illegal Jewish settlement in the heart of the Palestinian city.
Ownership of the two houses has been disputed for several years, with the settlers claiming that they bought them. According to the Israeli Civil Administration in the West Bank, however, the settlers have yet to provide proof of purchase.
Settlers from the Hashmiei Kol Ohalech foundation, which purchases homes in Hebron for Jews, occupied the houses in 2016 but were evicted later in the year.
Haaretz reported an Israeli security official saying that the settlers have received an initial permit to proceed with the purchase before occupying the two homes. The permit is the initial step towards ownership but there is no proof of purchase yet. The Civil Administration recognises that a payment has been made for the property, but it is not sure whether the money was paid to the lawful owners. To prove this, the newspaper said, could take several years.
Shlomo Levinger, one of the settlers who invaded the Palestinian homes, told Haaretz, "The mood is calm, pleasant and comfortable." He noted that there was no protest outside. "It is all very ordinary," he added.