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Israeli military authorities confiscate land and property of two Islamic charities in Hebron

Feb. 26, 2008 12:50 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 26, 2008 12:50 P.M.)
Hebron - Ma'an - The Israeli military commander of the West Bank, Gen. Gadi Shamni, issued a military order on Tuesday confiscating all the lands and buildings belonging to two Islamic charities in Hebron, in the southern West Bank.

Palestinian security sources told Ma'an's reporter that a large Israeli force conducted an intensive military operation in the city, ransacking all the offices, schools and other properties belonging to the Islamic Charitable Society and the Muslim Youth Society in Hebron.

The invading forces confiscated furniture and other contents, as well as four buses, a car, computers and other electronic equipment.

The charities also own retail properties in the city which are rented by local merchants. The Israeli soldiers handed the shopkeepers warrants, ordering them to vacate the shops before April 1 2008. If they fail to do so their goods will be confiscated.

The traders were told that anyone who enters the shops after the April 1 deadline could face a five-year prison sentence and the confiscation of his goods.

The governor of Hebron Hussain Al-A'raj expressed his astonishment at the Israeli decision and called on the Israeli authorities to revoke it.

Dr Muhammad Shalalda, Dean of the Faculty of Law at Al-Quds University described the decision as contrary to the Geneva Fourth Convention. He explained that according to the convention, an occupation authority can not confiscate public or private properties within territories they occupy.

He advised the two charities to file a legal case against the Israeli authorities to the Higher Court of Justice in Israel.

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