Some 2,500 people came to daven at Kever Yosef Wednesday night, accompanied by security forces who fended off numerous Arab rioters who attempted to reach mispallelim. The number of people who came Wednesday night was among the highest number at one time ever.
Commenting on the event, Shomron Council head Yossi Dagan said that “more and more people from Israel and around the world are voting with their feet and coming to Kever Yosef. The Jewish people will not give up on this site or any other holy site. We expect the government to understand this message and to enable Israelis to visit holy sites at all hours of the day, and to restore Israeli sovereignty – in action, not just in words.”
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 agreement 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 eight 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.