The Israeli District Court in Jerusalem ruled, Thursday, that Al-Rajabi home in the southern West Bank city of Hebron is officially owned by the settlers, and ordered the Palestinian owner to pay the court NIS 50.000 in legal fees.The court ruling claimed that the settlers gained ownership of the home using legal means, and that the claims of the Palestinian owner, Fayez Al-Rajabi, that he voided the deal before it was concluded have no legal basis, and ordered him to pay 50.000 NIS in legal fees.

The issue started in 2007 when settlers living in Keryat Arba’ settlement in Hebron, entered the home and started residing in it after claiming that they purchased it from its owner who in return went to the Israeli Police Station in the area and filed a claim stating that he did not sell his home, and demanded the Police to remove the settlers.

In December of 2008, and after inspecting the claims, the Police removed the settlers and an Israeli court ruled that the home must remain vacant, under the protection of the Police, until a final ruling is made.

On Thursday, the judge ruled that the state must conduct all needed procedures to hand the home this month to its owners, the settlers, Israeli Ynet News reported.
Head of the Keryat Arba’ Settlement Council in Hebron, Malachi Levinger, welcomed the court ruling and said that the ruling proves the legality of what the settlers always say “regarding their right to settle In every part of Israel”.

Also, Israel Transportation Minister, Yisrael Katz, said that Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, must now order the Civil Administration to approve the purchase deal “so that Jewish families that purchased the property can move back in”.

It is worth mentioning that in 2007, Israeli sources reported that the company that claimed purchasing the home was involved in two deals in which it claimed buying two Palestinian homes, but in fact was using forged documents.

The home is located in an area of strategic significance to the settlers, and they repeatedly said that the main aim behind controlling the home is “to provide protection to the settlers while on their way from Keryat Arba’ to the Ibrahimi Mosque (the Cave of Patriarchs).