Israeli troops detain suspects in West Bank in hunt for killers

Palestinians clash with IDF troops during hunt for Havat Gilad killer

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.

Established in 2002 in memory of Moshe Zar's son Gilad Zar, the security coordinator of the Shomron Regional Council who was murdered in 2001, it has been considered an unauthorized outpost by the Israeli government and was on a list of outposts that Israel promised the U.S. it plans to dismantle.

Rabbi Raziel Shevah was killed near Havat Gilad last month.

The anti-settlement group Peace Now called the effort to legalise the outpost a "cynical exploitation of the murder".

Mr Trump's reversal of decades of USA policy enraged Palestinians, who want to create an independent state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as their capital.

Cabinet Secretary Tzachi Braverman said the move to recognize Havat Gilad is "only a technical decision" meant to legalize an existing settlement and not establish a new one. "This is the essence of the government's policy", Netanyahu said at the meeting.

Furthermore, none of the buildings in the outpost, including those situated on Israeli-owned land, are legal, and all have outstanding demolition orders against them because they were built without a zoning or planning process and without the approval of local government bodies.

Cabinet ministers announced they would advance the legalizations of Havat Giad following the murder of Rabbi Raziel Shevach last month.

The agenda said about 40 families live in the outpost, but envisages its enlargement.

While most of Israel's settlements in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank are built with the government's permission, outposts are constructed without authorisation and are theoretically illegal under Israeli law, but still receive governmental support and financial assistance.

In nine years with Netanyahu as the head of government, the cabinet has voted only once to convert unapproved outposts into officially recognized settlements, according to the Jerusalem Post.

At least four Palestinians were on Saturday injured by Israeli forces' fire during a wide-scale offensive on the village of Burqin, to the west of Jenin in the northern West Bank, according to local sources.

Past attempts by Israeli authorities to dismantle Havat Gilad have led to clashes with settlers there.

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