Joseph’s tomb is located in an area that was placed under Palestinian control by the Oslo accords. However, access to Jewish holy places was supposedly guaranteed, and Israeli soldiers were stationed there to protect Jewish worshipers. In 1996, it was attacked by Palestinian Arab ‘police’ and terrorists (are they different?) and six IDF soldiers were killed. The Arabs were ‘furious’ (aren’t they always?) ‘because’ Israel had opened an additional entrance to a tunnel that ran under the Western Wall, and about 80 people were killed in ensuing riots.
The second Intifada in 2000 (‘because’ Ariel Sharon had visited the Temple Mount) brought another attack, in which an Israeli border patrolman was killed. After that the IDF sporadically arranged visits for Jews wanting to pray there, although the building was vandalized and had garbage dumped at the site.
The Muqata blog brings the story up to date:
Sometimes the IDF coordinates visits in the middle of the night and brings in busloads of people (unless they think it is too dangerous), but more often Breslev Hassidim sneak in and out in the middle of the night.
Early this morning [April 24, 2011] (5:40AM), after finishing their prayers a carload of Breslev Hassidim were attacked by Palestinian policemen.
Originally 3 carloads of Jews arrived at the tomb to pray, but PA policemen waiting there shot in the air and 2 of the cars immediately left. The third carload of Breslevers stayed to pray.
After the prayers, when the Hassidim were driving out, the Palestinian policemen (trained and funded by the US) drove their PA police jeep up to the car with the Hassidim in it and opened fire.
One Israeli, Ben-Yosef Livnat (age 30) was killed and 3 more injured. Livnat is the nephew of Minister Limor Livnat.
Do you see? Let them think that they are safe, and then shoot them down in cold blood. After all, they are not only Jews, they’re ‘religious’, with their black hats. Only killing a ‘settler’ gets an Arab gunman more honor.
When does enough become enough? How many murders have to be committed by Palestinian Arabs just because the victim was a Jew and it was convenient to kill him, before there is a fundamental change in our way of thinking about Palestinian Arabs?
When do we stop treating Arab rights as top priority and start worrying about our survival? This applies to the ordinary terrorist in the street and to the Palestinian ‘security services’ that the US administration thinks it has trained to be ‘professional’, but it also applies to the Palestinian Authority that most of the world thinks should have a state.
Peace is not a possible outcome. The alternatives are effective self-defense or suicide.
Update [0019 PDT]: Israel National News reports:
Speaking to reporters Sunday morning, one of the Bresolv Hassidim [sic] who was in the vehicle shot at by PA police earlier outside the Tomb of Joseph said that it was clear that the PA police were shooting to kill. “They fired several long rounds at our cars, and yelled ‘Allahu Akhbar.’ There is no doubt they were shooting to kill us,” the witness said.