Liberman: We’re ‘Considering’ Legalizing Chavat Gilad

YERUSHALAYIM -
Men work on the roof of a house under construction in the outpost of Chavat Gilad. (Reuters/Nir Elias/File Photo)

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said that in the wake of Tuesday night’s terror shooting attack that took the life of Rabbi Raziel Shevach, Hy”d, he was “considering” arranging for the legal status of Chavat Gilad, the unauthorized outpost where Rabbi Shevach lived. He was joined by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, who said that legalizing the outpost was “the proper answer” to the attack.

Chavat Gilad was established in 2000, in memory of Gilad Zar, Hy”d, the son of Moshe Zar, one of the Shomron’s first Jewish residents after the 1967 Six Day War. The outpost was set up where Gilad Zar was murdered by an Arab terrorist. Unlike other outposts, the land on which Chavat Gilad is located is not in dispute – it belongs to Moshe Zar, who purchased it from its previous Arab owners – but it has not been authorized by the government. As a result, the Civil Administration occasionally demolishes buildings on the site, which are promptly rebuilt by residents and activists.

Since there are no legal issues outstanding to prevent legalization of the site other than a government decision, Liberman said Wednesday that the process could begin at some point in the near future. Various planning committees would have to retroactively approve plans for construction, borders, and other matters to authorize the buildings that are there now, and issue new building permits for further construction. Liberman expressed condolences over the murder of Rabbi Shevach, saying that “I have ordered the Defense Ministry to provide assistance to the family and residents of Chavat Gilad.”

In her own comments, Shaked said Wednesday that “it is important to authorize construction throughout Yehudah and Shomron. They seek to destroy, but we will build. The Palestinian Authority assists and funds terrorists, but we will overcome their plans. The Palestinians will learn that killing Jews will hurt them.”