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15 Jewish Settler Families Move Into Disputed Hebron Building

JERUSALEM (JTA) — At least 15 Jewish families moved into a three-story West Bank building whose ownership is in dispute.

The ownership of the Hebron building, which is next to the Cave of the Patriarchs and known as the Machpelah House, is under appeal.

The Israeli army’s Civil Administration, which had given the settlers permission to purchase the building, ruled earlier this month that copies of the ownership documents are as good as the originals. The issue has been sent back to the military’s Registration Committee.

A group of settlers claims it purchased the house from its Palestinian owners five years ago; the previous owners now deny the claim.

Israeli soldiers and Border Police surrounded the structure on Tuesday night and were preventing others from entering the building.

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