A Palestinian from Al Khalil (Hebron) in the West Bank has rejected a $100 million Israeli offer to buy his home.
Abdul Raouf Al-Mohtaseb rejected an Israeli offer for his house and shop, located in the centre of the neighbourhood of Al-Sahla, Arabi 21 reported on Friday.
Al-Mohtaseb has rejected all previous Israeli offers made to him for his house and shop, which overlook the Ibrahimi Mosque in the centre of the old city.
“I rejected $100 million,” Al-Mohtaseb said, adding: “I will reject all the money on earth. I will not betray my land or my people. Money is fine, but only when it is clean.”
Speaking to Al-Mayadeen TV, Al-Mohtaseb said that the offers started at $6 million, before rising to $40 million and eventually reaching $100 million. He stressed however that he would not change his position, but rather that he would remain a guard of the Ibrahimi Mosque.
Israeli settlers in the city, he said, had suggested they could facilitate his travel to Australia or Canada to live a new life and found new businesses, but he also rejected this offer.
Al-Mohtaseb stressed that the higher the settlers raise their offer for his house, the more his love of the land rises, noting that he has 20 grandchildren who he hopes will spend their lives in Hebron. “I spent my childhood here, but my grandchildren are deprived of this,” he lamented.
In another interview, Al-Mohtaseb also explained the suffering of Palestinians in Hebron due to the Israeli occupation, stressing that: “we are living in a real prison.”
Al Khalil has a population of over 215,000 Palestinians and about 800 Jewish settlers in the old quarter.
Jews, Christians, and Muslims all venerate the city of Hebron for its association with Prophet Ibrahim (as). Judaism ranks Hebron as the second-holiest city after Jerusalem.
There is an ongoing conflict between Palestinians and Jewish settlers in Al Khalil.
The H1 sector, home to around 170,000 Palestinians, is governed by the Palestinian Authority.
H2, which is inhabited by around 30,000 Palestinians, is under Israeli military control with an entire brigade in place to protect some 800 Jewish residents living in the old Jewish quarter.
As of 2015, Israel has declared that special areas of Hebron’s old Quarter constitute a closed military zone. Palestinians shops have been forced to close, Palestinian women are reportedly frisked by men, and residents, who are subjected every day to repeated body searches, must register to obtain special permits to navigate through the 18 military checkpoints Israel has set up in the city centre.