6 Isaeli Settlers Forcefully Take over Palestinan family Home
Around 100 Israeli settlers forcibly took over a Palestinian home in the Old City of Hebron, raising tensions in the city amid widespread anger over Israeli-imposed restrictions on entry to al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
The settlers raided the Abu Rajabs' family home, located in the southern occupied West Bank, on Wednesday.
Activists caught the moment on video and circulated the footage on social media.
Issa Amro, director of the Hebron-based Youth Against Settlements activist group, said the settlers began moving their furniture in on Thursday, "right in front of the [Israeli] police and the army".
The Human Rights Defenders NGO posted a video on Facebook showing soldiers shoving and roughing up members of the Abu Rajab family as hundreds of settlers applauded.
"[The Abu Rajab family has] been attacked by soldiers, police and settlers, and they were very intimidated,"
"Yesterday, the settlers also attacked a Palestinian child who was walking past, and they threw stones at a family," Amro recalled. "This is very common in Hebron."
Around 700 Jewish Israelis live in settlements in the heart of Hebron, where they are guarded by thousands of Israeli soldiers and police.
Around 37,000 Palestinians live in the same area and endure dozens of military checkpoints that severely limit their freedom of movement.
The city is divided into three spheres of control - including full Palestinian Authority (PA) administration, joint administration between Israeli military forces and PA police, and full Israeli control.
"Settlers are changing the names of the streets and changing the names of the neighbourhoods, which is an obvious violation of the agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians," Amro added.
Netanyahu intervenes for settlers
The home - known to settlers as Beit HaMachpela - has been the subject of a long-standing legal case, with settlers claiming that they legally purchased the property.
The Abu Rajab family rejects that claim, and Israel's civil administration has said the settlers have been unable to provide proof of that purchase.
On Tuesday, Israeli Prime MinisterBenjamin Netanyahu ordered Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman to allow the settlers to remain in the Abu Rajab family home, the Times of Israel reported, citing unnamed sources.
A slew of far-right and nationalist Israeli politicians have publicly backed the settlers and called on the government to allow them to stay in the occupied home indefinitely.