IDF Soldier Injured in Shechem-Area Riot

Kever Yosef. (Yaakov Naumi/Flash90, File)

An IDF soldier was injured overnight Wednesday during a raid at the Balata refugee camp near Shechem. The soldiers were there to arrest individuals suspected of terrorist activities. A riot broke out, and the soldier was injured when a firebomb was thrown in his direction. The soldier’s injuries were light, and he was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Meanwhile, some 1,200 people came to daven at Kever Yosef Wednesday night, in honor of Erev Rosh Chodesh, accompanied by security forces who fended off numerous Arab rioters who attempted to reach the worshippers. Anti-riot measures were used to disperse the crowds. Three Arab rioters were arrested after they tried to throw firebombs at soldiers. There were no injuries among the Jews who were davening at the site.

Arabs have vandalized and set fire to Kever Yosef numerous times since the signing of the Oslo Accords, most notably in 2000, 2003, 2008 and 2014. Between 2003 and 2009, the site remained desolate, until Israel and the PA reached an accord on refurbishing the site in 2010. Currently, Jews are allowed to visit Kever Yosef once a month – usually on Erev Rosh Chodesh – to daven.

Overnight Wednesday, security officials said they arrested 13 wanted security suspects in 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.