JERUSALEM (JTA) – The Israeli government will evict two Jewish families from their homes in a building in Hebron.
The families must leave the Beit Ezra building in the West Bank city’s former Arab market by April 24, the state mandated in response to a lawsuit filed with the Israeli Supreme Court in 2010.
Peace Now had filed the suit on behalf of Palestinian shopkeepers who had used the property as stalls.
The property, which abuts the Jewish Avraham Avinu neighborhood, the property was owned by a Jewish family that was forced out by the Jordanians in 1947.
Palestinians rented the space from the state custodian of abandoned properties — first from Jordan and then Israel until 2001, when they were ordered by the Israel Defense Forces to leave the property for security reasons. The Jewish families moved in shortly thereafter. Hebron is a predominantly Arab city.
The state will decide by the evacuation date for what purpose the building will be used. West Bank Jewish settler leaders are hoping it can be used as a Jewish communal building, according to reports.