Over 1,500 people came to daven at Kever Yosef Tuesday night, accompanied by security forces who fended off numerous Arab rioters who attempted to reach mispallelim. No injuries among civilians or soldiers were reported, baruch Hashem.
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 or before chagim – to daven.
Shomron Council head Yossi Dagan said that “here we touch the roots of our people. On the one hand our hearts are filled with pride and happiness, but on the other hand we are forced to come here at night, like thieves, even though according to the Oslo Accords this site should be under Israeli control. We strengthen ourselves from here and we hope that the yeshivah that was located here will return.”
Also visiting was government minister Gila Gamliel, who said that the government “works to ensure that all the holy places will be open to all those who seek to visit them, and certainly open for Jews. This site gives us great strength.”