MK Uri Ariel (National Union) said Tuesday that the IDF decision to cancel a planned visit by Knesset members to the Tomb of Joseph in Shechem Tuesday was “scandalous.”
The Knesset members had planned to mark 30 days since the murder of Ben-Yosef Livnat by a Palestinian Authority policeman who was stationed at the Tomb.
“Once again, Ehud Barak surrenders to threats and folds before fear mongering,” Ariel accused. “I demand that the Defense Minister carry out the visit as posthaste. The real response to PA threats is the re-establishment of the yeshiva at the Tomb of Joseph.”
Yesha Council head Danny Dayan was reminded of the shameful and tragic incident in 2000, in which an Arab mob overran the Tomb and ransacked it. A wounded IDF soldier, Medhat Yousef, was left behind at the tomb rather than risk a large scale confrontation with the mob. The PA promised to rescue him but did not, and Yousef bled to death.
“Ten years ago, Ehud Barak and the security forces surrendered to terror and abandoned the Tomb of Joseph to the violent rabble, and today Barak and the security forces again surrender to the same threatening mob, at the same location. Then as now, the PA is the one that led the terror, violence and threats.”
Samaria local authority head Gershon Mesika said that it is “absurd and unacceptable” that "the political leadership prevents the IDF from exercising Israeli sovereignty and guarding Knesset members who wish to pray at a spot like the Tomb of Joseph because of sundry threats."
"We will make sure that the visit is rescheduled soon,” he vowed.