IDF forces temporarily evacuated tonight the Border Police unit that guarded “Joseph’s Tomb” as well as holy articles and equipment at the scene.

This is a decision of the Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, Mr. Ehud Barak, following the recommendation of the Chief of the IDF General Staff, Lt. Gen. Shaul Mofaz, the IDF and the Head of the Israel Security Agency.

The responsibility of guarding the area was handed over to the Palestinian forces that obligated to keep the integrity of the site and prevent any harm to it.

“Joseph’s Tomb” is a Jewish site that is also used as a Yeshiva. Therefore, special arrangements have been made regarding it in the Oslo Agreements since it is in an A territory, which means that it is under Palestinian control.

This evacuation took place willingly on both sides in order to keep human lives and to contribute to the decrease in tension and violence in the area.

During the evacuation, a Border policeman was lightly wounded by gunfire shot towards the force. The policeman was evacuated by helicopter to receive medical treatment in hospital.