On Tuesday, July 26, 2017, a large number of settlers, estimated to be 100, stormed into a house that belongs to the Palestinian family of Abu Rajab in Hebron's Old City. The settlers then camped in the house and were followed by Israeli police and military troops deployed to protect them.
The General Director of the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee (HRC), Emad Hamdan, stated that the raid on the house, located in al-Sahla area, south of the Ibrahimi Mosque, is not the first of its kind. Indeed, the house was raided in 2012 by settlers who were brought out by the Israeli army that later declared the house a closed military zone. According to the legal unit of the HRC, the case pertaining to the status of the house is still pending in the Israeli court.
Hamdan added that the settlers' invasion of the house is supported by the Israeli government and could be read as a reaction to UNESCO's decision to inscribe Hebron's Old City on the World Heritage list as a Palestinian site.
The lawyer at HRC, Tawfiq Jahshan, explained that there is no justification for settlers to take over the building as that step is considered an encroachment on Palestinian property, and it is prohibited under law. In that regard, Jahshan added that the owners of the property, with the legal help of HRC, have filed a complaint to the Israeli police demanding that the settlers be taken immediately out of the house.