Israelis Visit Joseph’s Tomb Under Heavy Security, Palestinians Riot

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Photo by IDF Spokesperson Unit on 20 August, 2019

By Arye Green/TPS • 20 August, 2019

In celebration of Tu B’av, the Jewish holiday of love, approximately 1,200 Jews came to visit Joseph’s Tomb on Monday night.

As the Jewish visitors entered the site, Palestinians rioted, throwing rocks and an improvised explosive device at the security forces present. No visitors or security personnel were hurt during the incident.

Jews are allowed to visit the site periodically and do so weekly. They visit under the supervision of the IDF and are accompanied by security forces. The site is located in the Palestinian city of Nablus and is an enclave of Israeli controlled territory in the town.

The Israelis came to the tomb to pray and celebrate the Jewish holiday. Among those visiting were prominent rabbis, performers, and politicians. Yossi Dagan, head of the Shomron regional council, who visited the site, said that “The week following Tu B’av, Israelis came out in droves to Joseph’s Tomb, proving their love for their land, roots and God. Every visit secular, religious, traditional and ultra-orthodox Jews come from across Israel. Joseph unites us and is beyond any division.”

The tomb has long been subjected to terror attacks, and several Israelis have been murdered by Palestinians while visiting the compound in the past. The tomb is considered to be the fourth holiest place to Jews and holds a significant standing in the collective national memory. The tomb is said to be the burial place of Joseph, son of Jacob, one of the three Patriarchs of the Jewish nation. Thus, Jews continue visiting the site despite constant security threats.

The IDF Spokesperson said that the forces who secured the visit responded to the riots with riot dispersal methods, and successfully broke up the riot. Additionally, measures were taken by the IDF to prevent future terror attacks, arresting six terror-related suspects across Judea and Samaria.

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