'Their arrest is unnecessary, and political'

Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir claims police have 'political agenda' to infringe upon rights of religious Jews after 32 arrested at Joseph's Tomb.

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Rachel Kaplan,

The detainees with Ben Gvir
The detainees with Ben Gvir
Flash 90

Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir, who is representing 32 Breslov Jews who entered Joseph's Tomb overnight in Shechem (Nablus) without permission from security forces, demands that police release them immediately.

The bus of worshippers was attacked by Arabs upon entering Shechem, who threw stones at it. The bus' 60 passengers were rescued by IDF forces.

Several haredim were lightly wounded from the stoning, and were treated on site. 32 of the pilgrims were arrested.

"When leftist extremists, led by [poet and activist] Eliaz Cohen, entered Ramallah and were attacked, the police didn't arrest them, didn't touch the matter, and no one called them in for questioning," Ben-Gvir recalled. "The feeling here is that the police discriminate again and again."

Ben Gvir dismissed claims that entering Joseph's Tomb without coordinating with security forces is dangerous and life-threatening. "Such a claim is a slippery slope [argument]. Today, they claim it over Joseph's Tomb, and tomorrow they'll claim it over the entrances to Homesh."

Homesh was a Jewish town in northern Samaria which was demolished and given to Palestinians during the 2005 Gaza Disengagement. Former residents still frequently visit the ruins.

Ben Gvir continues, "The Land of Israel is dangerous, not that I agree with Breslov hassidim on every topic, but their arrest is unnecessary, and is due to the politics of the police."

"I would encourage the Israeli government, who is responsible for enforcing its agreements with the Palestinian Authority, to demand freedom of access to Joseph's Tomb," Ben-Gvir added.