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Uzi Dayan: Give Jews Free Access to Joseph's Tomb

Maj.-Gen. (res.) Uzi Dayan believes that the Palestinian Authority policemen who opened fire on Jewish worshipers should face Israeli justice.
By Aryeh Ben Hayim
First Publish: 4/26/2011, 3:27 PM / Last Update: 4/26/2011, 3:43 PM

Arutz 7

Major General (reserves) Uzi Dayan called upon the government to open the Tomb of Joseph to Jewish worshipers on a daily basis. "We cannot give up these places," he said.

The former head of Israel's National Security Council and of the IDF's Central Command expressed his conviction that the IDF would apprehend the Palestinian Authority "policemen" who murdered Ben Yosef Livnat at Joseph's Tomb. "This Passover we made two Passover sacrifices, Daniel Viflic who was murdered by rocket fire from the Hamas terrorists in Gaza as well as Ben Yosef Livnat".

In referring to the opinion that neither side was innocent in the shooting at Joseph's Tomb, Dayan replied, "There are those who make light of the matter and even call this an 'incident' rather than a terrorist attack. So apparently Hebrew is a beautiful language but this was a terrorist attack. Policemen fired on Jewish worshipers, and this is murder. True, they did not coordinate their entry but here we are talking about the eve of a holiday."

In his opinion, the IDF occasionally forgets its proper role. "Our job is not to make explanations for the Palestinians but to apprehend those responsible. There must be an exhaustive investigation; one should punish those responsible. It's clear to everyone that the Palestinian police are going to do nothing, especially in light of the fact that we are even providing them with excuses. One must not rely on them. When I was the head of Central Command after the events of the Western Wall Tunnel [1996] we drew up a blacklist of all Palestinian policemen that we suspected of involvement in the terrorist attacks, we went over the list, we arrested those whom we had to and we eliminated those whom we had to." 

Dayan concludes that the current situation at Joseph's tomb is insufferable. "Following the events that led to the killing of [the Druze Army soldier] Madhat Yusuf at Joseph's Tomb [in October 2000, upon the outbreak of the Second Intifada, aka The Oslo War] the Tomb has been burnt; a mosque was built there, and then the tomb was again repaired. It's legitimate to debate whether to station troops there or not but it's not legitimate that [the PA] won't allow Jews to pray there. It's necessary that people should arrive at Joseph's Tomb every day as well as to the Peace on Israel Synagogue in Jericho. Of course one has to coordinate, but one must again open up these places, otherwise we are de facto giving up on them."

"To my sorrow the media, that does not always remember all the details, sets the agenda. They deal all the time, and justifiably so, with Gilad Shalit, but don't recall those who were killed in that incident [a reference to two soldiers from Shalit's crew who were killed simultaneously with his abduction, ed.]. Also, in the Joseph's Tomb attack they mention that Ben Yoseph Livnat was murdered, but it's necessary to mention also all those who were wounded and are fighting for their lives. It is necessary to follow the security agenda rather than the media agenda," he added.