Over 1,000 people came to daven at Kever Yosef Tuesday night, accompanied by security forces who fended off numerous Arab rioters who attempted to reach mispallelim. The entry was part of the regular schedule of visits of Jews to the site, which generally take place on Erev Rosh Chodesh and Yamim Tovim.
According to the Shomron Regional Council, there has been a 50% increase in the number of people requesting a spot on the buses that bring visitors to the kever. Council head Yossi Dagan said that “it is our presence here that will ensure that these sites will be here in the generations to come. We will continue to conduct visits to the kever on a regular basis and enable all who wish to daven here to do so.”
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.
Overnight Tuesday, 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.