Daily Israel Report

IDF Enters Awarta to Clean Holy Site

IDF forces were ordered into the notoriously radical village of Awarta to remove graffiti from Elazar the High Priest's tomb.
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 10/31/2011, 10:51 PM

Eleazer Kohen Gadol's Tomb
Eleazer Kohen Gadol's Tomb
Flash 90

IDF forces on Moday afternoon entered the violence-spawning Arab village of Awarta in Samaria with orders to remove graffiti sprayed on the tomb of Elazar the High Priest.

Bratslav Hassidim who entered the pilgrimage site Monday morning to pray, after coordination with the IDF, discovered the vandalism.

They say the graffiti included calls for the relase of Amjad and Hakim Awad, Awarta residents who were the perpetrators of the massacre of five members of the Fogel family in nearby Itamar, and a depiction of a rocket launcher.

The vandalism occurred during a power outage in the village Sunday evening, during which residents threw Molotov cocktails at IDF soldiers..

Soldiers responded with standard riot control measures. There were no casualties in the incident.

Also Sunday evening, IDF forces discovered 7-inch long knife concealed on an Arab passing through a checkpoint near Awarta. He was taken into custody and handed over to security forces for interrogation.

Residents of Awarta were allowed within the confines of Itamar to harvest olives recently and  threatened Jews living there.