‘Does someone have to die for West Bank outposts to be legalized?’

“We have heard all the excuses,” Bartfeld said as he attacked the latest one, which was blaming Benny Gantz.

Yael Shevach is seen speaking at Tuesday night's outpost rally in Jerusalem.  (photo credit: YOUNG SETTLEMENTS FORUM)
Yael Shevach is seen speaking at Tuesday night's outpost rally in Jerusalem.
(photo credit: YOUNG SETTLEMENTS FORUM)
“Does someone have to be killed for lack of security for the West Bank outposts to be legalized,” railed Ori Bartfeld of the West Bank Asael outpost.
“We have come to understand that right-wing governments have no intention of regulating [legalizing] us,” he said at a nighttime Jerusalem rally Tuesday near the Prime Minister’s Office on Tuesday.
“We’re going to grow old living in caravans,” he noted.
“What needs to happen here, does someone God forbid have to die?,” he said as he highlighted how lack of security due to their illegal status made these communities vulnerable to Palestinian attack.
The rally was part of a series of steps the Young Settlements Forum, the Yesha Council and the Knesset Land of Israel Caucus has taken to press Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to authorize the outposts.
“We have heard all the excuses,” Bartfeld said as he attacked the latest one, which was that Defense Minister Benny Gantz would not allow the issue to be brought to the government.
“Week after week, authorization has been on your [Netanyahu’s] desk and has not moved forward,” he said.
Bartfeldd noted that Netanyahu had known how to handle both former US president Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin, so how was it possible that the prime minister could not by-pass Gantz on this matter.
Netanyahu, “we feel a lack of good will here,” Bartfeld said.
Bartfeld also took issue with the idea that elections were the reason outpost authorization was frozen. “We have heard about the elections, again, and again, and again,” he said.
“We will no longer be a playing card in your campaigns. Vote for me today and afterward I will authorize you,” Bartfeld said.
Bartfeld also appealed to Gantz to focus on the humanitarian aspect of the matter and not to leave soldiers on the battlefield.
Among the speakers was Yesha Council head David Elhayani, Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan, South Hebron Hills Regional Council head Yochai Damri and Yesha Council CEO Yigal Dilmoni.
Gush Etzion Regional Council head Shlomo Neeman said that the issue at hand was not that these communities lacked services but the failure to legalize them placed a question mark over their future.
This question mark is a stain “of disgrace on the government” and the nation as a whole, Neeman said.
“Mr. prime minister, Mr. defense minister, the real truth is that these people did not come here to get water and electricity. We did not come to get sidewalks and security barriers,” Neeman said.
Those that live in the outposts would be willing to live without water and electricity in pursuit of the mission of ensuring that the land on which the fledgling communities were located would remain in Israeli control.
“We came on a mission but we have been abandoned in that mission,” he said.
Yael Shevach, a resident of the Gilad Farm outpost, whose husband Raziel was killed in a terror attack near their community in 2018, spoke.
She recalled that the government had voted to authorize the outpost in which she lived in the aftermath of her husband’s death.
Shevach, who is also on a hunger strike, said that “three years later nothing has happened.”
“Mr. Prime Minister how much blood has to be spilled to get water and electricity. How much blood and why is it even connected to blood?”