News Briefs

  Iyar 17, 5762 , 29/04/02

Appeal for Prayer Rights at Tomb of Otniel ben-Knaz

(IsraelNN.com) The Committee to Rescue Holy Sites has sent an urgent letter to the IDF Hevron battalion commander as well as to Major-General Yitzhak Eitan, head of the Central Command, urging them to permit the renewal of the ancient custom of praying at the Tomb of Otniel ben Knaz tonight, on the holiday of Lag B\'omer. The letter goes on to explain that it is preferable that worshipers be permitted access to the holy site in full cooperation with the IDF and not compel them to operate in a clandestine manner as was recently seen in efforts to reach Joseph\'s Tomb in Shechem.

The urgent appeal was prompted by this morning\'s news that the army has taken control of PA-controlled areas of Hevron, permitting access to the holy site.

Otniel ben Knaz was the first Judge in the Land of Israel following the death of Joshua. He was a half brother of Kalev ben Yefuneh, one of the 12 spies who toured Israel during the days of Moses.
Other archived news briefs:Apr 29 2002, 09:11 AM, 4/29/2002