New Settlement in Hebron

On Monday, June 10, 2024, the eve of the Shavuot holiday, settlers entered an empty house in Hebron that has stood vacant in recent years (on “Tzir Tzion” near Kiryat Arba). The settlers claim they purchased the house from its Palestinian owners. About two years ago, under the Bennett_Lapid government, settlers entered the same building (referred to by them as Beit HaTkuma), but vacated shortly after as they did not receive approval from the Civil Administration to establish the settlement.

Now, according to settlers’ reports, they obtained a transaction permit from the Civil Administration, and immediately thereafter entered the building, despite the permit only marking the beginning of the registration process, which is under the authority of the Political level to prevent settlers from entering the building.

The new settlement includes a three-story building located on the main road leading from Kiryat Arba to the Cave of the Patriarchs and is called “Tzir Tzion” by the settlers (see map below). Further down the street, there is another settlement known as “Beit Hameriva,” where settlers took over in 2014.

In our view, the transaction permit was likely facilitated due to changes made by Smotrich in the Civil Administration and the establishment of the Settlement Administration. As recalled, about a year ago, Smotrich established the Settlement Administration, responsible for all settlers’ civilian needs including land management.

Recently, Hillel Roth was appointed as Deputy Head of the Civil Administration and is responsible for all settler affairs in the West Bank. Roth’s authorities include handling land matters, including transaction permits for real estate purchases. Apparently, the transaction permit was issued shortly after his appointment and signed by him.

As part of the ownership transfer, settlers can commence the building registration process under their name, during which owners can contest purchase claims. Although it is only the beginning of the process, settlers have already entered the building. Any establishment of a new settlement on the ground, particularly in Hebron, falls under the government’s jurisdiction and can be prevented even if it is a genuine transaction. For more details, click here.