JERUSALEM (JTA) — Several dozen Jewish settlers moved into a home near the Cave of the Patriarchs that they say they purchased.
The settlers, including whole families with children, moved into the house at 1 a.m. Thursday. They say they have papers proving that they bought the house some four months ago, Haaretz reported
Palestinian police brought in the Palestinian owner of the house for questioning, according to Ynet, citing sources in Hebron.
The Israel Defense Forces moved into the area after news of the takeover became public and declared the immediate area a closed military zone. The military and police have opened an investigation into the ownership of the home.
The IDF called the move "an irresponsible move and a dangerous provocation that may inflame spirits, especially ahead of Land Day" on Friday. Land Day commemorates the deaths of six Arab Israelis killed in 1976 during protests against Israeli government land policies that confiscated privately owned Arab land.
Settlers reportedly have been purchasing homes and land in Hebron for many years, though many of the purchases have been legally contested, according to Ynet.