An IDF soldier was injured as scores of Palestinians attacked Jews praying at Joseph’s Tomb ahead of Yom Kippur. There has been an upswing in anti-Semitic violence over the High Holidays.
By: Lauren Calin, World Israel News
An IDF soldier was hospitalized Monday for light to moderate injuries sustained while guarding Jewish worshipers at Joseph’s Tomb in Shechem (Nablus) in Samaria. Some 60 Palestinians came armed with rocks, firebombs and burning tires to attack the 2,000 Jews gathered at the site for prayers ahead of Yom Kippur.
Joseph’s Tomb, which is believed to contain the remains of the biblical figure, has been a frequent site of violence. According to the Oslo Accords, the tomb should be under Israeli control. Israel relinquished the site in 2000 during the Second Intifada, when Palestinian terrorists ransacked the tomb, burning the adjoining synagogue and yeshiva to the ground. Written agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority require the latter to protect and ensure Jewish access to religious sites.
At present, Jews are permitted by Israel to visit Joseph’s Tomb only once a month. Yeshiva student Yosef Livnat was killed by PA policemen in 2011 when he attempted to visit the tomb outside of the set visiting time.
The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) revealed in August that it had disrupted a shooting and bombing plot by an Islamic Jihad cell against Jewish worshipers at Joseph’s Tomb. The terrorists intended to kill Jews who were sneaking into the tomb outside of the established monthly visit. The monthly visit is carried out under heavy IDF protection.
The latest mob attack on Joseph’s Tomb took place in the context of a wave of violence against Jews during the High Holy Days. Riots broke out on the Temple Mount when Islamic organizations dedicated to ending non-Muslim presence at the site attacked worshipers and police officers using stockpiled rocks and explosives. There has also been a spate of rock-throwing incidents, one of which turned fatal when it caused driver Alexander Levlovitz to lose control of his car in Jerusalem, crashing into a pole.