Some 1,200 people visited Kever Yosef Monday night. They were accompanied by security forces, who fended off numerous Arab rioters who attempted to reach mispallelim. Soldiers used anti-riot measures to hold back the mob. In the wake of the visit, Arabs continued rioting throughout the night.
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.
Shomron Council head Yossi Dagan said that “the week after Tu B’Av is an appropriate time for masses of Jews to come to Kever Yosef, a man who proved his love for the land, his roots and Hashem. Every time we come to Kever Yosef we a get a cross-section of Jews – secular, religious, traditional and chareidi from all over the country. This proves that Yosef Hatzaddik is a unifying figure.”
Overnight Monday, security officials said they arrested six 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.