HEBRON, West Bank (Reuters) - The Israeli army detained some 20 Jewish settlers who had taken over a house in the heart of the West Bank town of Hebron at dawn on Sunday, witnesses said. They said army commanders arrived at the scene, where about 30 settlers had squatted, and negotiated the settlers' departure only to take about 20 away as they left the site near the Avraham Avinu Jewish enclave. The Israeli army said it was checking the report. Jewish settler Baruch Marzel told reporters that the house was purchased by Jews and therefore it was their right to enter it. But Hamed al-Zarou, 37, a Hebronite worker who lives in the area said the house historically belonged to a Palestinian family. "Their claims that they had bought the house are false. There are houses that belong to the Jews who lived in Hebron before 1929 and they still belong to them since they are closed and intact, but this house belongs to an Arab," al-Zarou said. Israel handed over 80 percent of Hebron to Palestinian rule in January 1997, leaving troops in the heart of the volatile city to guard some 400 Jewish settlers who live and study among more than 100,000 Arabs. Hebron, the burial place of the biblical patriarch Abraham, is holy to Moslems and Jews and is a flashpoint of violence between the sides.