Over 1,350 people came for a Simchas Beis Hashoeva at Kever Yosef Wednesday night, accompanied by security forces who fended off numerous Arab rioters who attempted to reach mispallelim, using anti-riot measures. Soldiers on patrol found an explosive device that was set to go off as mispallelim were arriving at the site. The device was neutralized.
Shomron Council head Yossi Dagan said that “according to some customs, the ushpizin guest of the fourth night of Sukkos is Yosef Hatzadik. Yosef is the unifier of all Israel, and we have here Jews of all backgrounds. This Sukkos we are marking 19 years since we abandoned Kever Yosef. The heart of every Jew is broken every time we see that we cannot be here on a permanent basis. We pray that that will happen and that the flag of Israel will fly here.”
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.