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IDF Cancels Ben Yosef Livnat Memorial

IDF commanders first approved a family memorial service at Joseph's Tomb on the anniversary of Ben Yosef Livnat's murder, then canceled it.
By Gabe Kahn
First Publish: 4/11/2012, 9:41 PM

Ben Yosef Livnat
Ben Yosef Livnat
באדיבות ועד מתיישבי השומרון

The IDF spokesman's office on Wednesday said the family of Ben Yosef Livnat will not be allowed to hold a memorial service at Joseph's Tomb in Shechem due to "security concerns."

Arutz Sheva confirmed that security officials first approved the memorial service to be held on the anniversary of his death, and told the family that transportation and a military escort would be arranged.

The ceremony was to be an abbreviated service open only to those family members obligated to say the Mourner's Kaddish.

However, the family was surprised and dismayed to learn on Monday, despite their previous conference with military officials, that the army had decided to cancel the service.

The IDF spokesperson's office told Arutz Sheva that "entry dates for visiting Joseph's Tomb are set in coordination and cooperation with the relevant leaders in the settlement movement.

"Coordination of every entrance... is required augmenting local forces and additional resources to ensure visits are made in a safe and orderly manner.

"The entry date for April was set in advance, in cooperation with the relevant leaders, so this would have required a change to existing plans.

"However, the family's request was received and considered by senior officers, who in accordance with a security assessment, decided not to deviate from the original entry date and plan for April," they said.

Ben Yosef Livnat, 24, was gunned down by a Palestinian Authority police officer during an unscheduled pre-dawn visit to Joseph's Tomn on 24 April 2011.

A nephew of Minister of Culture and Sport Limor Livnat, he was declared a "victim of terror" after IDF investigators concluded that the shooting - which resulted in three other Jewish worshippers being wounded - was a "deliberate and intentional" act.

The decision resulted in PA security forces being de facto recognized as a "hostile organization."

Minister Livnat said of her nephew's murder, which occurred shortly after the massacre of five members of the Fogel family in Itamar, "They murder and we are to blame for not coordinating?"

"They murder a baby, her brothers and parents in their beds at Itamar, and we are to blame for being in Itamar in the first place?"