Palestinian Authority Arabs set fire to Kever Yosef near Shechem Sunday morning several hours after PA policemen gunned down Jewish worshippers, killing one of them. Eyewitnesses saw smoke billowing over the tomb, which Arabs have frequently desecrated in the past.
The murder victim, 24-year-old Ben Yosef Chai, a nephew of Likud Minister Limor Livnat, was buried Sunday afternoon, several hours before the beginning of the last day of the seven-day Passover holiday Sunday evening.
PA police killed Livnat and wounded four others by opening fire on their cars after they prayed at Kever Yosef and were returning home.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak condemned the murder and said that the lack of coordination did not justify the Palestinian Authority police attack. He demanded that the PA investigate the shooting. Pictured is a bullethole in one of the vehicles targeted by the PA.
Many coalition Knesset Members are up in arms over the PA police attack. Cabinet Science minister, MK Prof. Rabbi Daniel Hershkowitz, chairman of the Jewish Home party that is part of the coalition, said the attack "unmasked the PA’s true face” and called for the return of the IDF to the holy site, where previous agreements guaranteed Israel control and the freedom of worship to Jews.
Israel since has surrendered Kever Yosef to the PA.
National Union chairman MK Yaakov Katz called on Israelis to remember that it was Israel that first armed the PA with rifles as part of the ill-fated Oslo Accords, signed in 1993. Livnat’s name is added to “the long list of 1,500 Jews who have been slaughtered by PA weapons,” MK Katz added.
The Shomron (Samaria) Residents Committee stated, “The murder this morning at Joseph's Tomb illustrates the danger of relying on the Palestinian police. Every Palestinian policeman is a potential terrorist whose hatred of Jews” is always present.
Likud MK Ze’ev Elkin and National Union MK Aryeh Eldad said, “There can be no room for any concession on the need for total control and freedom of action for the IDF in all regions of Judea and Samaria.”
The Human Rights Organization of Judea and Samaria declared that the murder provides further proof that contradicts a recent report that the Palestinian Authority is ready to become an independent country.