Ayelet Shaked
Ayelet Shaked Hadas Porush/Flash 90

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, speaking on Army Radio this morning, criticized the conduct of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for his failure to put on today’s cabinet agenda a bill that would grant official approval to the Samaria Community of Havat Gilad.

Havat Gilad was founded 15 years ago, on land legally purchased and privately owned by Moshe Zar, but did not obtain official Interior Ministry recognition as a Judea and Samaria community and therefore the government does not invest in it.

Havat Gilad resident Rabbi Raziel Shevach, 35, was murdered on January 9 in a terror attack near his hometown. He is survived by his wife and six children, the youngest of whom is ten months old.

“For his own reasons, the Prime Minister did not want to address the bill today. There was no reason we know of for the postponement, and we expect that it will come up [at the cabinet meeting] next week. This is the second week in a row that the issue will not be brought up in the government.”

Following the murder, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) ordered the ministry to investigate the possibility of normalizing the community’s status and establishing it as a recognized township within the Samaria Regional Council.

Ministers Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) said on Wednesday they expect the government to decide on Sunday to normalize the status of the community of Havat Gilad in Samaria.

"The Attorney General approved the proposal of the decision makers regarding the normalization of Havat Gilad, and there is no legal impediment to bringing it up for discussion," the ministers said.

On Thursday morning, the chairman of the Jewish home, Minister of Education Naftali Bennett, issued a call to the prime minister to raise the proposal at the upcoming meeting.

"I expect Prime Minister Netanyahu to bring up the normalization of Havat Gilad this Sunday," Bennett demanded. "The time for excuses is over."

“Legally, it has been approved. Security-wise, it has been approved. Now we need a political decision," Bennett told Arutz Sheva.

Yesterday, residents of Havat Gilad expressed their disappointment at the Prime Minister’s refusal to advance steps towards official approval of the community.

"It's unbelievable," founder Itai Zar said. "Almost every government minister was here, and they all promised to push the issue forward. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) offered suggestions on the issue. We really feel like the government is dragging its feet."

“I call on the Prime Minister to immediately approve Havat Gilad. 'The blood of your brother is crying out to you from the earth' (a quote from the story of Cain and Abel, ed.). There needs to be a response to this murder. There needs to be a response to the terror and the pain. This is the response we are requesting."