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Report: Israeli court orders settlers to leave Hebron home

April 22, 2012 1:23 P.M. (Updated: April 24, 2012 12:29 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- An Israeli court has ordered six Jewish settler families to vacate a home belonging to Palestinians in Hebron in the southern West Bank, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported Sunday.

The Jerusalem district court found the settlers had forged purchase documents for the home in Hebron's Old City, Haaretz reported.

Settlers moved into Zachariah Bakri's home in 2005, claiming he had sold it to a construction company Tal Lebniya.

Bakri denied selling the house and brought the case to court. Police said purchase documents presented by the settlers and allegedly signed by Hebron's mayor were forged, the report said.

The court ordered the families to leave by May 15 and ruled that they must pay 20,000 shekels ($5,330) in trial costs.

Earlier this month, Israeli forces evicted 15 Jewish settlers from a Palestinians' home in Hebron. They said they had bought the house, a claim disputed by Palestinian authorities.

Israeli officials ordered their eviction because they had entered the West Bank city without the approval of Israeli security authorities.

Around 800 Jewish settlers live in the heart of Hebron. Many carry M16 rifles and they are guarded by Israeli soldiers who impose strict restrictions on Palestinians' movement in the city.

Under international law, all Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank are illegal.
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