Children in Settlement Outposts Should Be Taken From Their Parents, Meretz Lawmaker Says

Speaking on the radio with a resident of the Havat Gilad outpost, Mossi Raz said that if living conditions there are inadequate then the resident should move into Israel or move his children to foster care

Noa Shpigel
Noa Shpigel
A general view of the Havat Gilad settlement outpost in the West Bank.
A general view of the Havat Gilad settlement outpost in the West Bank.Credit: Olivier Fitoussi
Noa Shpigel
Noa Shpigel

Lawmaker Mossi Raz (Meretz) said Tuesday that the children of a settler, who complained about a lack of electricity and water in the outpost where he lives, should be transferred to welfare authorities.

“We need to take away his children and transfer them to Israel, and they should live with a foster family,” Raz said on Army Radio in response to a resident of the Havat Gilad outpost saying his children are being hurt by the lack of electricity and water there.

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“I won’t give criminals water and electricity,” said Raz. “They chose to live outside the State of Israel, found a place and built there in violation of international law. I’m in favor of their having electricity the minute we have a permanent arrangement with the Palestinians.”

When the resident responded: “Why do my children need to suffer,” Raz said it is possible to take them away from their parents: “If this is what he wants, then please.”

Residents claimed that they are discriminated against compared to the residents of the Bedouin communities in the Negev. “They gave them a lot more than us, because we are under a magnifying glass,” said Itai Zer, a resident of the outpost. “We want simple things.”

Meretz lawmaker Mossi Raz in the Knesset, last month.Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg

Raz rejected the comparison, saying: “The Bedouins live in their land and our land, Mr. Zer does not live in the State of Israel.”

Afterwards, Raz said: “Itai Zer asked me what to do so that his children would not suffer any longer from the lacking infrastructure. I advised him to move with his children inside the borders of Israel – or to send them to a foster family. Of course, I didn’t refer to all the settlers and spoke in the singular.”

The chairwoman of the Knesset Committee on the Rights of the Child, lawmaker Michal Shir Segman (New Hope) said in response: “This is a statement shows either total ignorance or a lack of basic human compassion. It is forbidden to cut off a child from their home because of where they live – it doesn’t matter whether it is the center of the country, the Galilee or Samaria.”

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