Soldiers Converge on Kever Yosef for First Time in 18 Years

Kever Yosef. (Shimi Levi)

For the first time in 18 years, an IDF unit marched to Kever Yosef, on the outskirts of Shechem. The soldiers hiked overnight from the Binyamin region town of Itamar to Kever Yosef, accompanied by residents and visitors. Once there, the soldiers discovered broken windows and furniture, along with anti-Israel graffiti, perpetrated by Palestinians.

Visits to Kever Yosef take place about once a month, with hundreds visiting the site to daven and say tefillos on Erev Rosh Chodesh, but those visits are always conducted under heavy security by soldiers, on buses with bulletproof windows. Shomron Council head Yossi Dagan said that he got “very emotional” on the march.

Early Wednesday, IDF soldiers arrested Shadi Matour, the head of Fatah operations in Yerushalayim, on charges of fostering incitement against Israelis. In a recent interview in Arab media, Matour called for the start of a third intifada. “We are in touch with all the heads of all the movements, and especially with the youth, in preparation for the next intifada. We will not hesitate to fight the occupation with all the tools at our disposal,” he said in the interview.

Overnight Tuesday, security officials said they arrested eight wanted security suspects in other areas in Yehudah and Shomron. The suspects were wanted for participating in rioting and throwing stones and firebombs that endangered Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers. Several of the suspects were also charged with belonging to Hamas. All were being questioned on their activities by security forces.