Electricity problems in Havat Gilad have become 'an existential problem,' residents say

Terror victim's widow speaks to Arutz Sheva about discrimination against Jewish towns, and life without reliable electricity.

Nitzan Keidar ,

Yael Shevach
Yael Shevach
Yoni Kempinski

In the Samaria town of Havat Gilad, continuous power outages make it difficult for residents to continue normal life, especially when outages in cold and stormy weather leave families without a reliable source of heating.

Residents of Havat Gilad are now demanding that Defense Minister Naftali Bennett (New Right) to immediately provide a solution for the issue.

Yael Shevach, whose husband Raziel was murdered in a terror attack in January 2018, told Arutz Sheva: "For many years we were not connected to the electric grid, and we suffered insufferable power outages. A few years ago we were connected to the electric grid, but in an amateur and primitive fashion, and we continue to suffer the same problems."

"Two years ago, Raziel was murdered and we insisted then that the State normalize the town, and thank G-d the government recognized the town as completely legal. We expected that they would treat us as any other town. It's been two years and the situation is the same way as it was regarding electricity. Yesterday the power went out again and again due to the weather, and it's not a special issue, there are outages on a daily basis.

"You can only imagine what it means to sit out Shabbat (the Sabbath) in the dark, in the cold and the rain, in caravans which the cold penetrates even more strongly and anyone who has no way of heating their home which isn't dependent on electricity suffers from the extreme cold. This is an existential problem and I've passed the stage in life when I need to suffer because of something they promised would be fixed."

Itai Zar, who founded Havat Gilad, recently turned to Bennett, saying: "We are two years after the government's decision to recognize Havat Gilad as a town like any other, and it's really frustrating that every single day the electricity goes out dozens of times, and you can't warm your home, do laundry, and live a normal life."

"We expect Defense Minister Bennett that just like former Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the town of Brukhin to be connected as a humanitarian gesture, Bennett will issue a similar order, especially since our City Building Plan is about to be approved."

Samaria Regional Council Head Yossi Dagan has been working with both Bennett and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's office to fix the town's electricity problems.

"I have turned to the Defense Minister and the Prime Minister's Office and requested that they connect them to electricity on humanitarian grounds. It is unthinkable that Arabs on the mountain opposite them build illegally and wildly but have electricity from the electric company that they do not pay for, while Havat Gilad is not connected to electricity, despite the government's decision," he said.

"Sometimes I feel like my residents are subpar, and I want to scream about this injustice. Because the Arabs are connected to electricity freely, and it's only different here. It's something that's just inconceivable."




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