JERUSALEM, Israel -- It's a familiar scenario -- one that uncomfortably pits Israelis against Israelis.
Jews purchase property in Judea or Samaria (the West Bank). Palestinians dispute the purchase. It goes to court. There's a ruling. There's an appeal. There's an eviction. And eventually, the Jewish residents show the property was legally purchased -- often for an exorbitant price.
Part of the problem is that according to the Palestinian Authority's laws, it's illegal for Palestinians to sell land to Jews. Many Palestinians who have done so have been killed.
On Thursday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak allowed Jewish residents to move back into Beit Hashalom (the peace house), located on the main road between Kiryat Arba and Hebron. Barak's decision followed a court order on September 13 to return the building to its Jewish owners within 30 days.
Palestinian Arabs claiming ownership are expected to appeal the ruling, the Times of Israel reported.
In 2007, the Tal construction company says they purchased the four-story building, later transferring ownership to the local Jewish community.
In 2008, Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the IDF to forcefully evacuate the 250 Jewish residents, saying the building would be under "IDF and state control until the court decides to whom it belongs."
CBN News reported on the scene at the time.
"Some 600 policemen and soldiers in full riot gear descended on the 250 Israelis inside, using stun grenades and tear gas before dragging them from the building, in scenes reminiscent of the government's August 2005 evacuation of Jewish communities in the Gaza Strip." At least 20 people were injured, one seriously.
Four years later, the court case settled, Beit Hashalom's Jewish residents can move back into their homes.