An IDF soldier was lightly to moderately wounded on Sunday night by a mob of Arab terrorists, as he took part in guarding a mass visit by Jews to the ancient tomb of the Biblical figure Yosef (Joseph) located in Shechem (Nablus), Samaria.
Roughly 60 Arab assailants rioted by the site as over 2,000 Jews came to pray at Joseph's Tomb.
The terrorists hurled rocks and firebombs at the IDF forces securing the holy site, and also rolled burning tires at them.
One soldier was wounded by a rock in the onslaught, and was evacuated to hospital for medical treatment.
The tomb has often been the target of Arab terrorists. According to the 1993 Oslo Accords, Joseph's Tomb was supposed to remain under full Israeli control, but in 2000 amid the Second Intifada terror war, hoards of Arab rioters invaded the tomb – which housed a synagogue and a yeshiva – ransacked it and burned it to the ground, while parading Jewish holy books and desecrating them.
Local Muslims later declared the site as a mosque, as the IDF reduced the Jewish presence to a once-monthly visit.
Sunday night's visit was specially arranged for selihot penitential prayers during the Days of Awe between Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). It was organized by the Samaria regional council and the managing body of Joseph's Tomb.
"Return Israeli control to Joseph's Tomb"
Those present included senior IDF figures commanding the Samaria region, as well as Jewish worshipers of all stripes from around the country. Prayers included a request for the quick release of Jonathan Pollard and his full recovery.
Yossi Dagan, head of the Samaria regional council, said, "precisely today, when terror sources are trying to weaken our grasp on the land; precisely when the terror of rocks reaches Jerusalem our capital – we're here at Joseph's Tomb in Shechem."
"We come to say that the terror won't break us. We'll reach Jerusalem and Shechem, Ashkelon and Bethlehem. And we'll demand our rights on this land," said Dagan.
"I call on the government of Israel to stand straight and return Israeli control to Joseph's Tomb, as was agreed upon even in the Oslo Accords."
The Samaria regional council noted that over 270,000 people have visited Joseph's Tomb in the last five years during the visits it has arranged, in an effort to maintain the site and raise awareness about its importance to the Jewish people.
Under previous agreements with Israel, the Palestinian Authority (PA) is required to protect Jewish holy sites under its control, and to allow secure access for Jewish worshipers.
However, in 2011 Yosef Livnat was murdered at Joseph's Tomb by none other than PA policemen as he visited the holy site with fellow yeshiva students. Livnat was the nephew of former Minister Limor Livnat (Likud).