After Terror Attack, Israeli Army Imposes Partial Lockdown on West Bank City, Villages

Funeral for Rabbi Raziel Shevach, father of six who was shot to death by terrorists, to take place at 1 P.M. at illegal outpost of Havat Gilad

The Israeli army put the West Bank city of Nablus and neighboring villages on partial lockdown Wednesday, setting up roadblocks at all entrances and exits after a terror attack in the area left an Israeli man dead on Tuesday night. Palestinian movement was permitted within the villages and locals were allowed to move between them via checkpoints.

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The Israel Defense Forces said late Tuesday that 35-year-old Rabbi Raziel Shevach, a father of six from the settlement outpost of Havat Gilad, was killed when a gunman opened fire on his car.

Rabbi Raziel Shevach, the victim of a drive-by shooting attack in the West Bank on January 9, 2018.
Courtesy of Rabbi Raziel Shevach's family

The army searched the villages in the area overnight in search of the terrorists behind the shooting attack. The army said reinforcements were being sent to the area to assist.

>> After terror attack, Israeli ministers call to legalize West Bank outpost that victim called home <<

Shevach's funeral has now begun at Havat Gilad and started with a procession from it's synagogue.  He will be buried in an area near the outpost.

His widow, Yael Shevach, said it was always his wish to be buried in the settlement outpost that he and his family called home.

Havat Gilad

"We decided, together as a family, to bury him in the place he had dedicated himself to," Yael Shevach said. "Raziel said that if something was ever to happen to him, he wanted to be buried in Havat Gilad. We respect his wishes and will bury him in the settlement he loved so much."

She also called on the general public to attend his funeral.

Havat Gilad is home to about 50 families and is situated near the Palestinian town of Jit, some 10 kilometers (6 miles) west of Nablus. It was founded illegally in 2002 following the murder of the settler Gilad Zar, security coordinator of the Shomron Regional Council, who was shot to death the year before. Not one of the buildings in the settlement has a construction permit, and from time to time, its denizens find themselves evicted. Even so, the outpost still houses dozens of families.

A shooting attack in the West Bank: An unidentified attacker fired from a car near outpost Havat Gilad.
Yitzhak Tuito

Responding to the attack, Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett said that Israel should change the settlement's legal status. "We must make clear that every murder will be met with immediate [settlement] construction. Regulating [the status of] Havat Gilad and building there is the most painful price Israel can exact to deter terrorists from undertaking the next attack."

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman also responsed to the attack, slamming both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.

Overnight Wednesday, joined by the Shin Bet security service and the Israel Police, the IDF arrested 11 Palestinians from the West Bank and the Jordan Valley for their suspected role in other instances of terror and suspected rioting. They were taken in for questioning.

During one of the arrests in the city of Jericho, Palestinians set trash cans and tires on fire, and threw bricks and stones at the forces. The army said it fired at the "main rioters." The Shin Bet said that "terror funds" worth thousands of shekels were confiscated.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reacted to the news of the shooting on Tuesday night. "I am expressing my deep sorrow and sending condolences to the family of Raziel Shevach, who was murdered tonight by a despicable terrorist," he stated.

"Security forces will do everything possible to reach the contemptible murderer and the State of Israel will bring him to justice," the premier added. 

Rabbi Yehoshua Gelbard, a friend of the late Rabbi Shevach who manages the yeshiva where the victim learned and taught, said his friend was a volunteer at both Magen David Adom and part of a chevra kadisha (Jewish burial society). "Rabbi Raziel was a rare combination of a smart student and devoted to God, who was kind to everyone who surrounded him," Gelbard recounted.

Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad expressed praise for the attack that claimed Rabbi Shevach's life.