Peace Now denounces settler takeover of Arab home in Hebron

Peace Now denounces settler takeover of Arab home in Hebron
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Peace Now denounces settler takeover of Arab home in Hebron

And the world has to ask why some people don’t understand the BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) movement which denounces and protests the violence and racism of the Israeli settler movement. Another example of how Israeli settlers violate the rights of Christians and Muslims inside Israel and under occupation

Za’tari Family in Hebron Implores Defense Minister to Evict Settler Squatters

The al-Za’tari family from Hebron on Wednesday appealed to the Israeli Defense Minister to enforce the law on settlers who broke into and have squatted in the family’s house on a-Sahleh Street in Hebron near the Tomb of the Patriarchs three weeks ago. A letter sent by the family’s lawyer, Attorney Samer Shehadeh, to the Minister of Defense and the Civil Administration, stated that the settlers’ claim of purchase “has no basis in reality, since my clients and/or their representatives never sold their ownership rights to their homes.”

Shehadeh further added, “The permit granted by the Land Registry Officer on the alleged transaction does not have the power to allow the settlers to enter the homes of my clients, and is merely a precondition for receiving an audience with the First Registration Committee, which is the judicial body authorized to decide on the registration of the rights for the land,” he said.

Map of Hebron showing location of Palestinian home being taken by Israeli settlers in Israeli occupied Hebron. Photo courtesy of Peace Now

Map of Hebron showing location of Palestinian home being taken by Israeli settlers in Israeli occupied Hebron. Photo courtesy of Peace Now

At the end of his statement, Shehadeh announced that if the houses were not promptly evacuated, the family would appeal to the High Court of Justice.

The al-Za’tari family had to leave their home during the Second Intifada, like hundreds of families and businesses in the Old City of Hebron, due to the heavy restrictions imposed by the IDF on Palestinians in order to protect the settlers.

In January 2016, settlers broke into the al-Za’tari family’s house claiming that they had purchased it from the owners, but following the family’s complaint to the police they were evacuated a few days after the break-in.

The settler break-in on 26 March 2018 was carried out immediately after the Land Registry Officer issued a “transactional permit” to the settlers, enabling them to begin a process of proving ownership and bringing the purchase claims for review before the relevant authority on this matter–the First Registration Committee.

Peace Now issued the following statement:

“The ink has not yet dried in the High Court of Justice’s decision to evacuate the Abu Rajab House, where settlers also broke into and squatted, yet the settlers dare to break into another house without the same approval they lacked in that case.

“The government must evict the trespassers immediately; the settlers have not proven any ownership. The behavior of the government and recent statements by the defense minister raise the suspicion that this home invasion was carried out in coordination with the defense ministry, and that the government lent a hand to breaking the law and stealing. Instead of protecting the landowner’s rights, the government is helping robbers seeking to take possession of the property without allowing the current owners their rightful legal avenue to prove ownership.

“The establishment of a new settlement house in the heart of Hebron is a severe blow to the fragile situation in Hebron and is liable to cause new restrictions on the movement of Palestinians.”

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Managing Writer at The Arab Daily News
RAY HANANIA — Columnist

Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at, and at, and at He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper,, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.

The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.

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