Visits to Joseph’s Tomb suspended as Israeli-Palestinian tensions rise

Freeze on visits to the holy site is indefinite.

By David Hellerman, World Israel News

Israel has indefinitely suspended all visits to Joseph’s Tomb in Shechem (Nablus) with officials citing rising security tensions in Samaria, Israel’s Kan News reported on Thursday.

According to the report, the IDF wants to scale back its activities in the city and give Palestinian Authority security forces more leeway to operate. A military source stressed to Kan, however, that the IDF will continue to operate in all Palestinian cities on an as-needed basis.

Joseph’s Tomb is located inside Area A of Samaria, meaning it is under both the administrative and security jurisdiction of the PA. Israeli citizens are barred from entering Area without prior permission.

Jewish worshippers make monthly visits to the tomb of the Biblical Joseph in coordination with the IDF. Palestinians frequently attack the convoys of worshippers.

Israeli security forces have arrested more than 2,000 terror suspects and have prevented hundreds of terror attacks since launching Operation Wave Breaker in May. The nearly-nightly counterterrorism raids began following a number of Palestinian terror attacks in the spring which killed 19 Israelis.