Israeli cabinet legalizes Havat Gilad outpost after rabbi’s murder

However, the proposal's language regarding the legal ownership of the land hinted at a significant hurdle that still remains ahead of the outpost's legalization.

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates strongly condemned the brutal Israeli aggression against Jenin, the last of which was yesterday in the town of Burqin, Al-Kefir, Al-Zababdeh, and the eastern area of Jenin city and its camps; which led to the martyrdom of the 19 year old Ahmad Abu Obeid and the dozen injuries.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the decision, which was passed unanimously by the cabinet, was meant to "allow the continuation of normal life there".

"For the murderers - exacting justice". We are not forgetting Gilad [Zar, who was murdered in a terror attack and after whom Havat Gilad is named] or Raziel.

Before the meeting, Netanyahu told the cabinet members that he spoke with the rabbi's widow earlier today and promised her that justice will be served.

"They will only make us move forward with confidence", Ismail Haniyeh said. "And we will bring them all to justice", the prime minister said.

"Our second policy guideline is to strengthen settlement", he continued. Whoever thinks that through the reprehensible murder of a resident of Havat Gilad, a father of six, that he can break our spirit and weaken us, is making a bitter mistake.

All Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank are illegal under global law but Israel differentiates between settlements it has approved and those it has not.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been going on for decades with the latter seeking diplomatic recognition as an independent state on the territories of the West Bank, occupied by an Israel that is continuously building settlements on these territory.

The approved proposal declares the government's intention to establish the hilltop community southeast of Nablus as a full-fledged settlement "on lands that are privately owned by Israelis or state lands".

During Netanyahu's almost nine years as head of government during his current, second, stretch in office, the cabinet has voted only once to convert outposts into settlements.

Israeli authorities have advanced plans for thousands of new settlement homes in recent months, although cabinet votes to authorize a pre-existing outpost are relatively rare.

Itai Zar, Gilad's brother, told Tazpit Press Service that the family was "very excited about the decision to recognize Havat Gilad".

The cabinet was unanimous in its support of the move, which was present by Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

"This is a true Zionist and moral step and a genuine and worthy response to terrorism", Dagan said.

Jarrar succeeded in fleeing the scene, Israel claimed. "The opposite is true, the people of Israel will live for eternity", he said.

  • Joey Payne