Victim of drive-by shooting terror attack to be buried in Havat Gilad
Raziel Shevah will be laid to rest in the outpost of Havat Gilad, with his wife Yael asking the people of Israel to attend the funeral; 'We will honor his request and bury him in the settlement he so loved,' she says; security forces continue searching the area for terrorists
Raziel Shevah, who was murdered in a terror attack on Tuesday night, will be buried in the illegal outpost of Havat Gilad in the West Bank on Wednesday at 1pm, his wife said.
"Raziel asked that if anything were to happen to him, that he be buried in Havat Gilad," Yael Shevah said. "We will honor his request and bury him in the settlement he so loved and was active in. This was his will. I call on and ask the entire people of Israel to come and accompany dear Raziel (on his final journey)."
Rabbi Shevah and his wife Yael have six children: Renana, 10, Naomi, 8, Miriam, 6, Malka, 5, Ovadia, 3, and Benayahu, only 10 months old.
Raziel, who worked as a mohel (who performs the circumcision of babies) and volunteered in Magen David Adom (MDA), was murdered in a drive-by shooting near Havat Gilad. Terrorists shot dozens of bullets from a standard weapon at his car, and took advantage of the dark and the freedom of movement given to the Palestinians in the area to escape. He was rushed to the Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba, where he was declared dead.
Shortly after the attack, while making her way to the hospital, his wife Yael told Ynet: "He called me and said 'I've been shot, call an ambulance.' I'm still horrified by the ease with which they shoot us like this."
The manhunt for the perpetrators of the attack continued into the night, with IDF troops from the Kfir Brigade's Nahshon Battalion along with other forces searching the area surrounding Havat Gilad, with the search mostly focused on Palestinian villages west of Nablus.
Forces from the Samaria Territorial Brigade, with the help of Special Forces, cordoned off Palestinian villages in the Nablus area and set up roadblocks, conducting random searches of vehicles coming in and out of the villages.
The army also decided to send reinforcements to the area, deploying forces from the Oz Brigade (known as the Commando Brigade) and the Golani Brigade.
IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot arrived at the scene of the attack on Wednesday morning and was briefed by commanders in the area.
"Our main focus at the moment is on locating and arresting the terror cell, and preventing additional attacks alongside making preparations for continued operations in the area," Eisenkot said.
Prime Minister Benajmin Netanyahu issued a statement vowing Israeli security services "would do everything possible in order to apprehend the despicable murderer and the state of Israel will carry out justice against him."
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman expressed his condolences to the Shevah family on Wednesday, adding he instructed the Defense Ministry to provide aid to the family and to the residents of Havat Gilad. Among other things, he asked ministry officials to examine the option of retroactively recognizing the outpost.
The US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, condemned the attack on Wednesday morning on his Twitter account. "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. Look no further to why there is no peace. Praying for the bereaved Shevah family," Friedman wrote.
US Senator Ted Cruz, a one-time Republican presidential candidate, also condemned the attack. "Rabbi Raziel Shevah, a 35-year-old husband & father of six children who was a volunteer first-responder for Magen David Adom, was murdered in a horrific drive-by shooting attack. My profound condolences & prayers are w/ his family & friends," he wrote on Twitter.
Settler leaders call to legalize Havat Gilad
The head of the Samaria Regional Council, Yossi Dagan, called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Lieberman to allow the family to bury Shevah in Havat Gilad, as well as urged them to approve the outline plan for the illegal outpost and officially recognize it.
"On such a horrible day for the family, for the Samaria and for the people of Israel, the right answer to those lowly murderers—who sought to murder a Jew and in effect banish us from the Land of Israel—is to announce the approval of the outline plan," Dagan said.
He called to "remove all political restrictions on construction and announce (the approval of) hundreds of housing units in Havat Gilad. This is the real and true answer; this is what will destroy the motivation for terrorism. They want to hurt us and banish us from our land with terrorism and intimidation, and the people of Israel will grow and build exactly where there was an attack."
Dagan's calls were echoed by the head of the Yesha Council Hananel Dorani, who argued that "legally recognizing the outpost will prove the land of Israel belongs to the people of Israel."
The attack on Tuesday night was the fifth in the West Bank and Jerusalem area since US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital in early December. Previous attacks ended with no injuries.
Trump's declaration was also accompanied with clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces in frictions points in the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza border, and the launching of over 40 rockets from the strip to Israel.
In addition, Israeli security forces have been able to foil several plots to attack or kidnap Israelis in the Nablus area.