Officials Slam ‘Unauthorized’ Kever Yosef Visit

YERUSHALAYIM -
A group of mispallelim arrives at Kever Yosef. (Kever Yosef Management)
A group of mispallelim at Kever Yosef. (File photo, Kever Yosef Management)

Shomron Council head Yossi Dagan on Tuesday called the unauthorized entry of hundreds of people to the site of the kever of Yosef Hatzaddik in Shechem as “irresponsible. Anyone who wants to visit the site should join the authorized entries sponsored by the Shomron Council and the IDF. Entering without the relevant security arrangements is dangerous, both for the visitors and for IDF soldiers.”

A large group attempted to daven at the site Monday night and were met by a large number of Arab rioters. IDF soldiers intervened to break up the riot. Several visitors were lightly injured in the rioting and were treated on the scene. Thirty-two among them were arrested, and soldiers pursued a bus with Palestinian Authority license plates into Shechem.

Police said in a statement that they viewed the incident as “serious. Entry into Area A, which is under total Palestinian control, is dangerous, as well as a felony.”

Dagan added that he had great hopes that in the near future Israelis would be able to return to the site with unfettered access and without the need for an “appointment. We hope to re-establish the yeshivah there, which is specified in the Oslo Accords, and to be able to visit at any time, not under cover of night and at great risk.”