Some 400 Jews, accompanied by IDF soldiers, entered the village of Awarta, outside Shechem, on Wednesday night, in order to daven at the kevarim of several luminaries interred there – among them Elazar and Itamar, sons of Aharon Hakohen, and the shivim zekeinim who were the close confidants of Moshe Rabbeinu. The trip was held in honor of the yahrtzeit of Aharon Hakohen – Rosh Chodesh Av. He is buried in Jordan.
Dozens of soldiers were present to deal with Arab unrest, which has often accompanied visits to the kevarim. However, the tefillos on Wednesday night took place without incident, the IDF said in a statement. In the past, those coming to daven at the site have been attacked, and the site itself has been desecrated numerous times. Awarta is also the village that was the home of the murderers of the Fogel family, Hy”d, who were murdered in their home in March 2011 in the nearby town of Itamar.
Overnight Wednesday, security officials said they arrested seven 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.