Some 2500 worshipers visited the holy site overnight near in the city of Nablus to “pray for the success of sovereignty.”
By Paul Shindman, World Israel News
A huge group of Jewish worshipers escorted by IDF forces prayed overnight at Joseph’s Tomb in the city of Nablus, aka Shechem, the organization that manages the holy site said Tuesday.
The Joseph’s Tomb Administration said more than 2,500 Jews attended prayers at the site revered as the burial place of the biblical figure, located in the Arab-populated city of Shechem. Entry into the city is coordinated between the IDF and Palestinian security with prayers generally taking place only during the night and under heavy security provided by the Israeli Defense Forces.
However, Palestinian media reported that “extremist settlers” were “storming the city” and minor rioting broke out as Palestinian youths clashed with the soldiers, who responded by firing teargas canisters and rubber bullets. One Palestinian was injured in the leg, the Palestinian WAFA news agency reported.
“We are here tonight, praying for the success of sovereignty, strengthening the prime minister, not deterring and not being afraid, applying sovereignty to all Jewish communities and areas in Judea and Samaria” said Yossi Dagan, head of Samaria Regional Council.
Although pictures appeared to show otherwise, organizers claimed the worshipers were “observing the Ministry of Health rules” while they “prayed for sovereignty, strengthening of building and holding on to Judea and Samaria as well as Joseph’s Tomb.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is proposing to annex Israeli settlements under the peace plan presented by President Trump. However, maps of the proposed annexation areas have not been revealed, and there are fears the holy site may be left outside of the areas over which Israel takes full control.
“We are here to deliver a clear message: The State of Israel will not give up the holy places, will not give up the Tomb of Joseph, Rachel’s Tomb, the Cave of the Patriarchs and other holy places in Judea and Samaria,” Dagan said. “History will not forgive those who abandon the holy places at this time.”
While Dagan and other leaders in Judea and Samaria are in favor of extended Israeli sovereignty, most have voiced opinion to the clause in the Trump peace plan that allows for a future independent Palestinian state.