Commander of Judea and Samaria Division, “A grave event”

Commander of the Judea and Samaria Division addressed the recent killing of an Israeli by Palestinian security forces saying investigations are under way. Ben Yosef

Date: 26/04/2011, 11:09 AM     Author: IDF (Zahal) Website

“We consider the recent killing of an Israeli by Palestinian security force fire very grave,” said Brig. Gen. Nitzan Alon, Commander of the Judea and Samaria Division, on Sunday (Apr. 24) in a briefing held for journalists following the shooting in which Israeli Ben Yosef Livnat (24) was killed and three other Israelis injured.

“The severe event took place near Joseph’s Tomb, one person being killed and other Israelis injured. I wish to express my condolences to the family of the deceased,” said Brig. Gen. Alon who added that, “We’ve begun investigating the event in conjunction with the city of Nablus’ security forces’ own investigation. There have been a number of suspects arrested.”

The Commander of the Judea and Samaria Region added that there are regularly “Organized, secure ways for those coming to pray at Joseph’s Tomb to do so and these visits will continue. I call on Israelis to come to Joseph’s Tomb within the frame work of these organized visits and not individually, the latter posing danger to those visiting.”

Earlier, the Minister of Defense, Ehud Barak, instructed the IDF (Zahal) to look into the event and demanded that the Palestinian Authority investigate it quickly and take any necessary action. He criticized the shooting saying that no communication breach can justify the kind of event where innocent people are shot.

On Sunday morning (Apr. 24), a man was shot and killed and three other Israelis moderately to lightly injured when they drove their vehicle near the village of Har Bracha in Samaria. The four were on their way back, it seems, from prayer services at Joseph’s Tomb. Palestinian officials updated the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) saying the civilians were shot by a Palestinian police man after he saw what he deemed suspicious activity.

The city of Nablus is located in Area A, under complete Palestinian control both in the region and under its own security forces. The IDF (Zahal) emphasizes that the worshippers entered the tomb independently and of their own accord while the danger of entering the tomb without official permits was stressed time after time.

Over the past few years, the number of Israelis permitted to enter Joseph’s Tomb has been limited, the tomb having been renovated recently due to IDF (Zahal) and COGAT coordination. Despite IDF (Zahal) activities, worshippers attempt to get past security forces and officials repeatedly without security coordination.