23 Israelis Arrested on Way to Daven at Kever Yosef

YERUSHALAYIM -
Tefillos at Kever Yosef in Shechem. (Kobi Gideon/Flash90, File)

Twenty-three Israelis were arrested overnight Motzoei Shabbos for attempting to enter Shechem with the objective of reaching Kever Yosef. The attempt was made without coordination with the IDF, a situation that in the past has led to violence and bloodshed against Israelis, the IDF said. Shechem is located in Area A, controlled by the Palestinian Authority, and Israelis are banned from the area in general. Exceptions are made at Kever Yosef once a month, generally on Erev Rosh Chodesh, when IDF troops accompany large groups of Israelis to the site. Entries at other times are illegal.

The Israelis were arrested on a path between the towns of Itamar and Elon Moreh; the path continues on to Shechem. They were caught by a regular IDF patrol on duty in the area, and handed over to police. The detainees were questioned in the Ariel police station. The Honenu legal rights organization is representing them, a spokesperson said, and hopes to secure their release later Sunday.

Overnight Motzoei Shabbos, security officials said they had arrested six wanted security suspects 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.