'Jewish freedom in the Land of Israel'

After trips to tomb repeatedly blocked, hundreds visit burial site of biblical figure inside Palestinian Authority-controlled city.

Ido Ben Porat,

Samaria Council chief joins group visiting Joseph's Tomb
Samaria Council chief joins group visiting Joseph's Tomb
Roei Hadi

Hundreds of Jews visited the Tomb of Joseph inside the Palestinian Authority-controlled city of Shechem early Tuesday morning.

The trip, which was organized in conjunction with and secured by the IDF, comes after earlier attempts to visit the holy site were cancelled due to internecine violence within the Fatah faction in Shechem.

The Samaria Regional Council and Administration of Holy Sites in Samaria petitioned the IDF to permit the visit, which was ultimately given final approval this week.

Among those who visited the tomb were Samaria Regional Council chief Yossi Dagan; Dagan’s predecessor, Gershon Mesika; the IDF district commander for Samaria; and former Kiryat Arba mayor Tzvi Katzover.

Council chief Yossi Dagan called the visit a realization of the dream of Jewish liberty in Land of Israel.

“On the eve of Passover, the holiday of freedom, we have merited to see our liberty materialize here in this country, and to pray at our holy places; to come visit the places that were the cradle of Jewish history.”

But Dagan was also quick to acknowledge that the aforementioned liberty was still incomplete.

“Unfortunately for us this liberty is not yet complete. When we enter [Joseph’s Tomb], we must do so in the dead of night rather than in the light of day.”

The complex housing Joseph’s Tomb once housed the Od Yosef Hai Yeshiva, but was surrendered to the Palestinian Authority in 2000. During the Second Intifada the tomb was ransacked and set ablaze.




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