Members of Knesset seek to re-open Joseph’s Tomb

Thursday, February 15, 2007 |  by Staff Writer
Thirty-five Members of Knesset, representing various streams of the political spectrum are asking to re-open Joseph’s Tomb to Jewish visitors in the Samarian town of Nablus.

Members in favor of continuing visits to the tomb sent a letter to Israeli Army Central Command Officer Major General Yair Naveh requesting the military re-open Joseph’s Tomb and to do whatever necessary to ensure safety.

The tomb, located inside Nablus, Biblically known as Shechem was abandoned in September 2000 at the beginning of the second Palestinian uprising, under the orders of former Prime Minister Ehud Barak. Palestinians destroyed the Torah scroll, prayer books and other Judaica items.

In 2002, Israeli soldiers recaptured the tomb, but the Israeli army requested that those only on guarded tours visit.

One day every month at midnight as many as 800 visitors were allowed to pray at the gravesite. These visits were designed to prevent unauthorized and unprotected clandestine visits, mainly by the ultra-Orthodox.

Shortly after, all visits were discontinued because of the threat of Arab terrorist attacks.

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