Defense Minister signals willingness to help terror victim’s village

Saying he “felt the pain and sorrow” of Rabbi Raziel Shevach’s widow and six orphans, Liberman orders his office to see how Shevach’s village can be legally recognized.

By: Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Following the funeral for terror victim Rabbi Raziel Shevach Wednesday, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman put out a statement in which he said that has ordered “an examination of the possibility of legalizing Havat Gilad and making it a community among the other settlements in Judea and Samaria.”

Shevach was gunned down in a drive-by shooting Tuesday night near the northern Samarian village, leaving behind a wife and six young children. At his funeral, both Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Samarian Regional Council head Yossi Dagan called for Liberman to recognize Havat Gilad as a registered town. Dagan’s reasoning was that legalizing and expanding places where terrorists acted would “end the motivation” to carry out attacks.

Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel and Samarian Chief Rabbi Elyakim Levanon also called for building the land as a response to the terrorists’ actions. Since construction in Judea and Samaria requires permission from the Defense Minister, Liberman’s move to recognize Havat Gilad could also serve as a response to Palestinian terrorism.

Havat Gilad is a farming community that was established in 2002 in memory of Gilad Zar, security coordinator of the Samarian Regional Council, who was killed in a terror attack the year before. Dozens of families live there, although none of the homes have building permits since it is formally considered an unauthorized “outpost” by the government. Gilad’s father, Moshe Zar, has steadfastly maintained however, that he had bought the land from private Palestinians over many years. Many of the buildings have been demolished by the army over the years, only to be rebuilt by its determined residents.