Memorial Cancelled: Security Concerns or Revenge?
Sources close to the Livnat family claimed Wednesday that Samaria Brigade Commander Nimrod Aloni was taking personal revenge in cancelling a memorial service at Joseph's Tomb for terror victim Ben Yosef Livnat.
The sources were sharply critical of IDF commanders in an interview with Arutz Sheva.
"The Livnat family was supposed to go this evening to Joseph's Tomb to hold a memorial service for their son (Ben Yosef Livnat). Ehud Barak, the commanding officer, and division commander authorized the entrance of the family for the purpose of holding the memorial service. But Samaria Brigade Commander, Colonel Nimrod Aloni, forbade the holding of the memorial service for vengeful reasons," they said.
After last April's murder of Ben Yosef Livnat, 25, at the hands of a member of the Palestinian Authority police outside Joseph's Tomb, Israel's defense ministry - following an investigation of the incident - declared him a "victim of terror."
"The family fought in order that the widow and the four remaining children will be recognized as a bereaved family," the sources explained. "During the period of mourning, Alon came to visit the family, and while comforting the mourners told them that the IDF arranged a security incident investigation, and conclusions show that Livnat was deliberately murdered and it is considered a terrorist attack in every respect."
The sources say Aloni was incensed that his words were recorded and given to the media, which led him to take revenge on the Livnat family.
"The words of Aloni were recorded and distributed to the media, and the widow and four children were soon recognized as a bereaved family. Aloni was upset that the recording was given to the media and publicized. He has even expressed his anger openly about it. Now, Aloni has avenged himself on the family for the recording by canceling the planned memorial service," they said.
Access for Jewish worshippers at Joseph's Tomb must be approved and coordinated by the IDF, who provides security for all such visitations. The IDF responded directly to the sources' allegations by referring to its previous explanation for the decision to backtrack and cancel the memorial service.
"Entry dates for visiting Joseph's Tomb are set in coordination and cooperation with the relevant leaders in the settlement movement," the IDF said previously.
"Coordination of every entrance... requires 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.