The young father of four, and four of his friends who were wounded in the incident, did not coordinate their visit with the security forces.

 DM Barak condemns murder of Israeli near Joseph's Tomb


Joseph's Tomb (IDF archive photo)

(Communicated by Minister of Defense Spokesperson)

Minister of Defense Ehud Barak harshly condemned the murder of Ben Yosef Livnat and the wounding of four other civilians on April 24, 2011 near Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus.

Barak instructed the IDF to investigate the events, and demanded that the Palestinian Authority investigate the incident quickly and take appropriate action regarding the perpetrator of the shooting.

Barak stated that the lack of coordination in no way justifies the shooting of innocent people.

IDF Spokesperson:

An Israeli civilian was killed and four others injured in a shooting incident near Har Bracha early Sunday morning, April 24, 2011. The five were returning from prayers at Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus, which they had entered without proper permits.

Palestinian officials notified Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) officials that the civilians were shot by a Palestinian policeman who, after identifying suspicious movements, fired in their direction. Senior IDF and Civil Administration officials will meet with senior Palestinian security officials in order to examine the incident.

The army announced that the wounded, all in their twenties, managed to escape the compound and reached the IDF base in Har Bracha, where they received medical attention. Fifteen Chassidic Jews who evidently had not found places on the dozens of buses that visit the site once every two weeks with IDF permission, entered the tomb without authorization.

It should be noted that Nablus is located in Area A, which is under full Palestinian control, security as well as civilian. The IDF Spokesperson stressed that the worshippers entered the tomb compound on their own accord, despite constant warnings of the dangers of entering without prior coordination. In the last few years, entrance of Israelis to the tomb, which was recently renovated, has been limited in number and must be coordinated with the IDF and the Civil Administration. Frequently, worshippers attempt to bypass the authorities and to sneak into the tomb without protection or permits.