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Havat Gilad

Coordinates: 32°11′47″N 35°10′49″E / 32.19639°N 35.18028°E / 32.19639; 35.18028
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Havat Gilad
Havat Gilad is located in the Northern West Bank
Havat Gilad
Havat Gilad
Coordinates: 32°11′47″N 35°10′49″E / 32.19639°N 35.18028°E / 32.19639; 35.18028
DistrictJudea and Samaria Area
RegionWest Bank
Founded byItai Zar

Havat Gilad (Hebrew: חַוַּת גִּלְעָד, lit.'Gilad Farm') is an Israeli outpost in the West Bank, established in 2002 in memory of Gilad Zar, son of Moshe Zar and security coordinator of the Shomron Regional Council, who was shot and killed in 2001.[1]

The international community considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal under international law, though the Israeli government disputes this.[2]

Land ownership

Havat Gilad, one of 90 settler outposts in the West Bank constructed without obtaining official authorisation from the Israeli government,[3] is located on land allegedly privately owned by Moshe Zar, a religious Zionist and long-time friend of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. He has claimed to have been buying land in the West Bank from individual Palestinians since 1979. A number of Palestinians have taken him to court asserting that he falsified contracts.[4] After his son Gilad was killed, he vowed that he would establish six settlements in his son′s memory, one for each Hebrew letter of his name.[5] Attempts to rebuild, involving expansion of construction, after the outpost had been demolished in February 2011, were challenged by villagers from the Palestinian township of Jit, who claimed that the residents of the outpost were building on privately-owned Palestinian land. The Israeli Civil Administration was reported to be examining the complaint, while stating that 'most lands in the area are private Palestinian lands.'[6]


There have been a number violent incidents involving Havat Gilad settlers. On October 16, 2002, journalists covering a so-called “quiet” evacuation at the outpost, were attacked by settlers,[7] on October 19, 2002, a Shabbath, when the outpost was forcibly evacuated and all its buildings were razed by the Israel Defense Forces for the first time, about 1,000 settlers, trying to prevent the dismantling of the outpost, clashed with soldiers and police. During the two days of confrontations, 46 policemen, and dozens of male and female soldiers and settlers were lightly injured. Fifteen people were arrested, but were released a few days later.[8] Some of the settlers were back at the outpost the next day and erected temporary structures which were dismantled a week later, but the settlers were back on the site after a few hours.[9] In November, security forces decided to file charges against twelve of the protesters.[10]

In 2004, police arrested one settler, after armed settlers from the outpost had opened fire on shepherds from a nearby Palestinian village.[11]

In March 2009, five residents of the outpost were briefly arrested on suspicion of throwing stones at police, when security forces attempted to evacuate the site. In September of the same year, settlers and security forces clashed following an attempt by security forces to confiscate a truck which was supposedly used to illegally transport a mobile home to the site, leading to four arrests.[12]

In October 2010, Havat Gilad settlers set fire to olive trees belonging to Palestinian farmers of the village of Farata.[13]

On February 28, 2011, Civil Authority forces escorted by police officers arrived in the settlement to demolish several illegal structures. Violent clashes erupted when settlers threw rocks at police, who responded with tear gas, stun grenades, and rubber bullets, injuring 15 settlers. Eight settlers were arrested, five for carrying concealing weapons, one for stone-throwing, and two for cutting down Palestinian olive trees.[14][15] The demolition of the outpost led to further protests and violence among Israeli rightists,[16] Seventeen pro-settlement protesters, seven of whom minors, were charged with disturbing the peace, attacking police, and damaging police vehicles.[17] A week after the demolition, the destroyed structures were being rebuilt, and the settlers were said to plan to build several new homes, in addition to the ones that were demolished, as an act of protest. However, the government pledged to demolish the new buildings by the end of the year.[18]

On February 5, 2014, three residents of Havat Gilad Farm were arrested on suspicion of having touched two cars, and for spraying graffiti in the Palestinian village of Farata.[19] In December, 2 residents, Yehuda Landsberg and Yehuda Savir, were sentenced to 30 months imprisonment for the incident.[20]

On 30 January 2015, members of the Golani Brigade shot dead a Palestinian man whom they claimed was about to throw a fire bomb at the road leading to Havat Gilad.[21]

Until 4 February 2018, when it was granted legal status by the Israeli government, it had been considered an unauthorized outpost by the Israeli government and on a list of outposts that Israel promised the U.S. to dismantle.[22][23] The outpost was dismantled several times, but settlers had returned and re-established it.[24] On 4 February 2018, the Israeli Government authorized Havat Gilad as a result of which it would be connected to electricity and water, and would no longer be considered an outpost and would become a settlement within the Samaria Regional Council.[25]

January 2018 attack

On 9 January 2018, a volunteer medic resident and Rabbi of Havat Gilad, Raziel Shevach, was shot by an unidentified assailant while driving his vehicle near his home on Route 60 in the West Bank. Magen-David Adom, responding to his emergency call, pronounced him dead after attempt to administer resuscitation failed.[26][27] A manhunt for the perpetrators ensued with roadblocks put in the area.[28] It was reported that a similar attack had occurred in the previous weeks but the gunner's weapon had jammed.[citation needed] This was the most recent of many incidents since late 2015, during which period 51 Israelis and five foreign nationals have been killed in a sequence of Palestinian and Israeli Arab attacks, and in which 300 Palestinians have also been killed.[3]

The Israel Defense Forces had sealed several villages in the area near Nablus.[29] On the night of 18 January 2018, the IDF reported capturing the murderers of Rabbi Raziel Shevach, in a midnight raid on Jenin.[30] At least one of the alleged murderers was also killed.[31] The mastermind behind the drive-by shooting was killed in the village of Al-Yamun by special forces on 6 February 2018.[32]


Hamas while not claiming responsibility stated that the attack was ' the first practical response to remind the enemy’s leaders and those behind them (the United States) that what you feared is coming,' according to The Times of Israel. Its military wing the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades also stated that “The West Bank will remain a knife in your body".[33]

The Israeli Defense minister stated, in response to the killing, that the government would consider legalizing the outpost.[34][35]

David M. Friedman, the United States Ambassador to Israel, tweeted that "an Israeli father of six was killed last night in cold blood by Palestinian terrorists. Hamas praises the killers and PA laws will provide them financial rewards".[36]


Some residents of Havat Gilad have developed tourism resorts and activities open to guests from Israel, and incoming tourism from abroad. In February 2016, The New York Times journalist Steven Erlanger visited the village home of Elana and Yehuda Shimon for dinner, and to check out the pottery classes and spend the night at one of the local guest homes.[37]

See also


  1. ^ "Gilad Farm". Peace Now. Archived from the original on 2011-07-18. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
  2. ^ The Geneva Convention BBC News. 10 December 2009
  3. ^ a b 'Israel searches West Bank after settler killed in drive-by shooting,' BBC News 10 January 2018.
  4. ^ Samantha M. Shapiro (February 16, 2003). "The Unsettlers". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
  5. ^ Nadav Shragai (June 7, 2006). "Ramat Gilad residents prefer their mobile homes to luxury homes". Haaretz. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
  6. ^ Yair Altman, Settlers resume construction in Havat Gilad Ynet 8 March 2011
  7. ^ Amos Harel, Nadav Shragai (October 21, 2002). "Ben-Eliezer denies settlers' claims of a deal at Havat Gilad". Haaretz. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
  8. ^ Amos Harel (October 25, 2002). "All Havat Gilad detainees released". Haaretz. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
  9. ^ Amos Harel, Nadav Shragai (October 30, 2002). "Havat Gilad outpost evacuated again, but later re-occupied". Haaretz. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
  10. ^ Baruch Kra (November 14, 2002). "Security forces to file charges against 12 Havat Gilad protestors". Haaretz. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
  11. ^ "Settler Violence Report 67, 1st - 15th June 2004". The Alternative Information Center . June 15, 2004.
  12. ^ Chaim Levinson (September 14, 2009). "Settlers, troops clash at outpost". Haaretz. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
  13. ^ "Israel settlers start fires amid West Bank harvest". Agence France Press. October 16, 2010.
  14. ^ "Settlers: 15 injured in Havat Gilad". Ynetnews. 2011-02-28. Retrieved 2018-02-05.
  15. ^ Chaim Levinson (March 1, 2011). "Israeli security forces defend use of rubber bullets during West Bank outpost demolition. Security forces returned to the Havat Gilad outpost in the West Bank to demolish three structures; thirteen people were injured in ensuing clashes with police". Haaretz. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
  16. ^ Chaim Levinson, Nir Hasson (March 3, 2011). "Rightists launch 'day of rage' over West Bank outpost demolition. Demonstrators block Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway, place burning tires in entrance to Jerusalem to protest demolition of illegal structures in the Havat Gilad outpost". Haaretz. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
  17. ^ "Jerusalem court indicts 17 pro-settlement protesters". Haaretz. March 1, 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
  18. ^ "Havat Gilad Rebuilds Destroyed Homes". IsraelNationalNews.com. March 8, 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-08.
  19. ^ Tovah Lazaroff,3 Residents of Gilad Farm outpost arrested and charged in price tag attacks,' Jerusalem Post, 5 February 2014.
  20. ^ Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man, 'Settlers sentenced to an unprecedented 30 months over 'price tag' attack,' +972 magazine, 21 December 2014.
  21. ^ [1] Ha'aretz 31/1/2015
  22. ^ Elias, Nir (4 February 2018). "Israel legalizes West Bank outpost after settler killed". Reuters. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
  23. ^ Dan Izenberg (July 30, 2009). "Israeli NGO Battles Settlements in US". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2011-03-04.[permanent dead link]
  24. ^ "Eight settlers arrested in clashes with police in illegal West Bank outpost". Haaretz. February 28, 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
  25. ^ "Cabinet approves Havat Gilad recognition".
  26. ^ "They've shot me!": The Slain Man from Terrorist Attack Records Message to his Paramedic Friends, Walla News (Hebrew)
  27. ^ Lubell, Maayan (January 9, 2018). "Israeli Dead in Suspected West Bank Palestinian Shooting Attack". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  28. ^ "IDF expands search for rabbi's killers, closes off villages in Nablus area". Retrieved 2018-02-05.
  29. ^ i24NEWS. "West Bank villages sealed off as hunt for settlement attacker continues". i24NEWS. Retrieved 2018-02-05.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  30. ^ Porsher, Efrat (18 January 2018). "Night Battle in Jenin: The Murderers of Rabbi Shevach Have Been Caught" (in Hebrew). Israel Hayom. p. 3.
  31. ^ Samoudi, Ali (18 January 2018). "Israeli commandos kill Palestinian gunman blamed for West Bank ambush". Reuters. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  32. ^ Diaz, Shelomi (7 February 2018). "What goes around comes around" (in Hebrew). Israel Hayom. p. 5.
  33. ^ Jacob Magid, 'Hauling West bank Shooting Hamas warns of more attacks to come,' The Times of Israel 9 January 2018.
  34. ^ ' We’ll look into legalizing outpost after resident killed by terrorists,' The Times of Israel 9 January 2018
  35. ^ 'Israel considers legalizing West Bank outpost of murdered rabbi,' i24news 9 January 2018.
  36. ^ "After terror attack, US ambassador accuses Palestinians of preventing peace". Retrieved 2018-02-05.
  37. ^ Erlanger, Steven (Feb 7, 2016). "West Bank Settlers' Listings on Airbnb Draw Palestinian Anger". New York Times.