American-Jewish businessman whose disputed purchase of property inflamed conflict in Hebron claims he will sue government, prevent his community members from investing in Israel if court evicts Jewish settlers living there
by Ynet: Zvi Zinger
"If the Jewish settlers are evicted from the 'peace house', I will file legal suits against the Israeli government and anyone involved in the eviction," said the Jewish businessman whose purchase of a building in Hebron inflamed rigorous conflict between the city's Jewish and Palestinian residents.
Morris Abraham, 40, is a member of the Syrian-Jewish community in New York. His great-grandfather was a resident of Hebron during the 1929 riots, and Abraham claims his investment in various projects in the city is personal.
"I love Israel and especially Hebron," he told Yedioth Ahronoth. He added that his parents were almost killed in the city when Hamas operatives attacked them with stones in 1990.
Five years ago Abraham discovered that a Palestinian entrepreneur who had built a structure in Hebron was having financial difficulties, and seeking to sell it to an Israeli buyer. "I invested a million dollars in the 'peace house'," Abraham claimed.
He said it was "intolerable" that the Israeli government was preventing Jews from purchasing property in the West Bank, something they could do "anywhere else in the free world".
The Hebron house case erupted in May of 2007, when a Palestinian resident filed a petition against 20 Jewish families he claimed had seized the house illegally. The families claimed the property had been paid for, but the court ruled they were to be evicted.
The families then submitted a tape to the court in which the plaintiff could be heard telling his friend he had sold the property to a Palestinian realtor, prompting the case's reexamination.
Abraham claims the sale was legitimate. "We have all of the evidence," he claims. "Everything was documented, including the transfer of money."
He said the State was executing a racist policy in its eviction of the residents, and threatened to sue the government. Abraham said he would also prevent other members of his community from donating funds and investing in Israel.
The case is currently being examined by the High Court of Justice, which stated recently that even if the house had been purchased legally, the residents could still be evicted until the matter was resolved. The decision prompted settlers to begin preparing for a forced evacuation.