Tzipi Livni
Tzipi Livni Hadas Parush/Flash 90

Zionist Union MK and former Justice Minister Tzipi Livni on Monday rejected a proposal submitted to the government Sunday which would include the establishment of a new Israeli town in Samaria, with full state recognition.

On Sunday, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) submitted the proposal to the coalition secretary, calling for the establishment of a new town in Samaria for the residents of the Havat Gilad outpost in Samaria, normalizing the community’s status while potentially requiring the relocation of some residents now living on disputed land.

Last Tuesday night, Arab terrorists murdered 32-year-old Rabbi Raziel Shevach, a resident of Havat Gilad, in a shooting attack just several hundred yards away from the outpost’s entrance.

Shevach, a mohel and volunteer MDA emergency first responder, was able to contact authorities and his wife after the attack, but succumbed to his wounds soon afterwards. He is survived by his wife, Yael, and six children.

Havat Gilad was established in 2002 in memory of Gilad Zar, a local security coordinator who was murdered at the site by Arab terrorists in 2001. The community was built at the behest of and with the support of Zar’s father, Moshe Zar, a veteran settlement activist.

The community was never officially recognized, and was labelled by the government as an “unauthorized outpost”. A number of partial evacuations were carried out during the Sharon and Olmert governments.

Following last week’s attack, however, Defense Minister Liberman announced that his office would investigate the possibility of retroactively recognizing the community, and upgrading its status from an unauthorized outpost to a full-fledged, normalized town.

But on Monday, MK Livni expressed her opposition to Liberman’s proposal, saying that while she sympathized with Shevach’s family, last week’s murderous attack did not justify what she called a bad policy move.

“Last week there was a terrible terrorist attack, and we are all pained by the murder of Raziel Shevach, along with every other Israeli who has been murdered in terror attacks.”

“We share in their mourning, yes, but [I] don’t support legalizing that which is illegal. If it wasn’t right to legalize Havat Gilad before the attack, it’s also not in our interest to do so after [the attack]. But unfortunately this is a wayward government, without the strength to say the truth. Isolated settlements need security – they do not provide security.”