JERUSALEM (JTA) — Thousands of Jewish Israelis entered the West Bank Palestinian village of Kifl Haris to visit the tomb of the biblical figure Joshua.
Also buried in the northern West Bank village located near the Ariel settlement are Joshua’s father, Nun, and Calev Ben Yefuneh. Joshua and Calev were two of the 12 spies sent by Moses to inspect the Land of Israel before the Jewish people entered the territory after wandering in the desert for 40 years. They were the only two to deliver a positive report on the Jews’ prospects for success in defeating the people who lived there. Joshua led the Jews into Israel upon Moses’ death.
Tuesday night marked the anniversary of Joshua’s death. The Jewish pilgrims entered the village in the middle of the night guarded by Israeli soldiers to pray at the site. There was also singing and dancing, according to reports.
The Palestinian Maan news agency reported that the pilgrims were disruptive, and hung posters in Hebrew throughout the village. Maan put the number of pilgrims at 2,000. The Samaria Regional Council, which helped organize the event, put the number of visitors at 10,000.