Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has ordered that the community of Havat Gilad in Samaria be connected to Israel’s national electricity grid immediately, days after one of the residents was gunned down by Arab terrorists just a few hundred yards away from his home.
Rabbi Raziel Shevach, a 32-year-old father of six, was shot and killed by Arab terrorists near the entrance to Havat Gilad Tuesday night.
Tuesday’s attack took place just several hundred yards away from Shevach’s home – and almost exactly at the site of another deadly terror attack in 2001.
Havat Gilad, founded in 2002, is named after veteran Samaria activist Moshe Zar’s son, Gilad Zar.
Gilad Zar was murdered by terrorists in 2001, leading his father to push for the establishment of a new Jewish community on the site of the attack.
While the Sharon and Olmert governments carried out partial evacuations in Havat Gilad, removing individual structures, by early 2006, the town was slated for demolition – part of a larger plan for removing fledgling settlement towns in Judea and Samaria which had been dubbed “outposts”.
Following the attack Tuesday, however, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) proposed retroactively recognizing Havat Gilad.
"I have instructed the heads of the Defense Ministry to assist the family and the residents of Havat Gilad,” Liberman said in a statement. “I have also ordered an examination of the possibility of legalizing Havat Gilad and making it a community among the other settlements in Judea and Samaria.”
On Thursday, government ministers met with Rabbi Shevach’s widow, Yael, and expressed their dismay at the lack of basic infrastructure in the town.
"It is ridiculous that the widow,” said Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev (Likud), “doesn't know when she'll have [access to] electricity, or when she'll [have access to hot water so that she] can shower her children, or when she can tell mourners to come pay their respects.”
Following pressure by coalition members, Prime Minister Netanyahu announced Thursday that he was ordering Israel’s primary electricity provider to link Havat Gilad to the national electric grid.
“This is the first step,” said Samaria Regional Council chief Yossi Dagan.
“I thank the Prime Minister for his decision to link [Havat Gilad] to the electric grid, and we’re now looking forward to the government recognizing Havat Gilad as a full-fledged town.”