IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, along with Israel's two Chief Rabbis, are to visit Shechem Thursday night as guests of the Palestinian Authority, Arutz Sheva has learned. The Head of the IDF's Central Command, Maj.-Gen. Avi Mizrachi, and the Rabbi of the Holy Sites, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich, will also take part in the visit.
The delegation will be hosted by the PA's governor of "Nablus" - the Arabic name for Shechem, which is a bastardization of the Roman name Neapolis.
Elements within Samaria's Jewish leadership were unhappy to learn of the visit, which was not coordinated with the Samaria local authority, and went so far as to say they would try to prevent it. These elements suspect that the IDF intends to transfer the newly-renovated Tomb of Joseph to the PA's hands. The IDF has denied this intention.
Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich told Arutz Sheva that the question of who controls the Tomb is not his to answer, and is for the IDF and no one else to decide.