(Right to left) Yossi Dagan, Nir Barkat, Binyamin Horgan
(Right to left) Yossi Dagan, Nir Barkat, Binyamin Horgan Ro'i Hadi

Calls are mounting for the government to authorize the expansion of the community of Tal Menashe, home to Esther Horgan who was murdered in a terrorist attack this week in a forest nearby. Those behind the initiative want to see over 100 new homes authorized, doubling the size of the community.

On Tuesday, MK Nir Barkat (Likud) visited Tal Menashe, along with Yossi Dagan, head of the Samaria Regional Council, to pay his condolences to the Horgan family. He spoke for some time with Binyamin Horgan, the husband of Esther, and stated that, “My impression is that every time they try to challenge us with terrorist attacks, to frighten us – the best response is to expand construction and to strengthen our hold on the land.

“We have to use the existing master plan to expand the community as swiftly as possible, in order to send a clear message to anyone planning a terrorist attack in the future, that every such act will be responded to with us increasing our hold on the land,” he added.

MK Etty Attia of the Likud party also visited Tal Menashe on Tuesday and echoed Barkat’s words, saying: “The State of Israel must respond with determination to all such attacks with renewed impetus to build in all the communities of Judea and Samaria.” Likud minister Tzachi Hanegbi, who attended the funeral of Esther Horgan, also noted that, “What we need to do now is take action that will display our intention to strengthen our hold on Samaria.”

Samaria Regional Council Head Yossi Dagan noted that, “The aim of such terrorist attacks is as the word suggests – to strike terror into our hearts, that we should be afraid to live here, that we should run away. That is why the government must show the exact opposition reaction in order to encourage the bereaved family and indeed the entire Jewish People. We will not show fear and we will continue to live here, and within as short a period of time as possible, even within a week, we should authorize a doubling in size of Tal Menashe. In order to achieve this, all political considerations should be set aside to get this done.”

Dagan added that, “The job of the army is to eliminate the terrorists, and we, the citizens, need to add our own illumination to the region – and we achieve this by strengthening the settlement enterprise in honor of Esther – in order that our enemies should realize that the Jewish People has returned here and will not give up on the Land and will not be defeated. The government must now get this done, and this will be the correct response – that within the shivah period after Esther’s death, we double the size of the community in which she lived.”