The Efrat local council established an outpost on Givat Eitam as a response to the murder of Ari Fuld, a resident of the West Bank settlement who was stabbed at the Gush Etzion junction earlier that week.
Givat Eitam is an area considered strategic, east of Efrat but located within its municipal jurisdiction. Israel has tried to advance legal construction in the area in the past but was halted due to the hill's proximity to the Bethlehem region and the fact that international entities consider it a strategic area.
A visit to the site revealed that one hut was built there, and there was a truck bearing a mobile home. A very small group of young people who are there said that they take turns guarding the hill. They confirmed that they were sent by the local council, and its flag was raised there. The army was also present.
The Civil Administration recognizes the establishment of the outpost and apparently there is no immediate intention of evacuating it, one reason being previous requests by the council to permit construction at the site and allow it to become permanent. In the past there was an outpost on the hill, which was built in 2013 but was evacuated after about two years.
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The local council officially assumed responsibility for the establishment of the illegal outpost, whose houses were built without a permit and contrary to the law.
On the Facebook page of the council head a video clip was posted, in which one of those who built the outpost is heard saying: "Less than 24 hours after the murder of our friend Ari Fuld, the Efrat local council is offering a suitable Zionist response and building a new point of settlement in the Land of Israel - Givat Eitam - a strategic hill that connects the center of Gush Etzion to the eastern part.
After many attempts and a lot of work, and a great deal of pressure from all sides, we're on our way there. The residents of Efrat are with us, behind us, in cars, accompanying us. We will arrive in just a few moments and will be able to recite the blessing: "Blessed be He who establishes the border of the widow."
Shlomo Ne'eman, head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council, the regional council that surrounds Efrat and in whose territory the stabbing attack in which Fuld was murdered took place, posted the following on his Facebook: "We support the Fuld family, the Efrat local council, Oded Revivi [the head of the Efrat council], and the new settlers at the Eitam farm that was established in the past 24 hours in memory of Ari Fuld. May we be inscribed and sealed in the book of life."