Young Jews arrested in bid to visit Joseph’s Tomb


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Dozens of young Jewish settlers attempted to make an unauthorized visit to Joseph’s Tomb, leading to the arrest of 13.

The settlers, who made their way to the tomb via the Balata refugee camp in Nablus and Palestinian farmlands on Wednesday night, were accompanied by right-wing activist Baruch Marzel and Israeli lawmaker Michael Ben-Ari of the National Union Party, Ynet reported. The tomb, which is holy to Jews, is located in West Bank territory under full Palestinian control.

Their attempt comes days after Ben-Joseph Livnat, 25, a father of four from Jerusalem, was killed when a group of 15 Breslov Chasidim made an unauthorized visit to worship at the site.  Livnat was the nephew of Israeli Science and Culture Minister Limor Livnat of the ruling Likud Party.

The Israeli army tracked Wednesday’s unauthorized group using illumination flares, joining a joint search with the Israel police.

Limor Livnat on Wednesday called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to find a way to enable more Jews to pray at the site on a regular basis.

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