'Remove Uniformed Terrorists from Joseph's Tomb'

Samaria Regional Council head opposes uncoordinated visits to Joseph's Tomb but says holy site must return to IDF's control.

Ido Ben Porat ,

Joseph's Tomb
Joseph's Tomb
Yaakov Naomi/Flash 90

Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan denounced on Sunday morning last night's attack at Joseph's Tomb outside Shechem, while simultaneously calling on would-be pilgrims to arrange visits with Israeli security forces. 

On Saturday night, a group of yeshiva students arrived on an uncoordinated visit to Joseph's Tomb to protest the holy site's arson by Palestinian Arabs last week.

Palestinian Authority police beat as many Israelis as possible upon their entry to the site, banging their heads against their jeeps until the IDF arrived; the IDF then arrested five of the visitors for entering a closed military site. 

"I call on all those who seek to pray at Joseph's Tomb, to enter the site on the trips arranged every few weeks by the Samaria Regional Council which manages Joseph's Tomb with the approval and support of the IDF." 

"[The Halakhic directive] 'you shall guard your souls' is not written in vain. It is our duty," Dagan stressed. 

"One cannot ignore the barbarism these yeshiva students encountered as they sought to exercise their freedom of worship," Dagan continued. "I urge the Israeli government to remove these terrorists in uniform (PA policemen) from the holy site of Joseph's Tomb."

"This incident is further proof that we've let the cat guard the cream," Dagan added. "It's unacceptable that the PA police who incite terror attacks are the ones guarding Joseph's Tomb and 'defending' the Jewish worshippers who come there." 

"The time has come to apply the Oslo Accords and exercise Israeli sovereignty on the site so incidents like this do not occur again."

According to the 1994 Oslo Accords, Joseph's Tomb was supposed to remain under full Israeli control. However, after hoards of Arab rioters invaded and ransacked the tomb during the Second Intifada, the IDF reduced the Jewish presence to a once-monthly visit.