One person, 30, was killed and five others were severely injured in a shooting attack in the West Bank on Sunday.
The group of Breslev hassids was shot at in their car as they were entering the city of Nablus en route to Joseph's Tomb. The driver drove to the nearest army base where they were tended to. One passenger, who sustained wounds to his upper body, could not be revived and died Sunday morning. A 20-year-old and a 17-year-old were taken to Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson in Petah Tikva with moderate injuries, and three more were treated on the army base for minor wounds.
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The group, which included 15 visitors, reportedly did not coordinate its entry to Joseph's Tomb with the IDF.
When asked about the possibility that Palestinian Police shot at the car, Gershon Mesika, head of the Samaria regional council, told Army Radio that Breslov hassids attempt to illegally enter Joseph's Tomb almost every month. He added that Palestinian Police are familiar with the regular occurence, and would have no reason to shoot at visitors.
In February, Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein (Likud) called on Defense Minister Ehud Barak to increase access to Joseph’s Tomb, located on the southern edge of Nablus, which has a waiting list of thousands of Jews wanting to make the pilgrimage.
At present, access to the tomb is limited to one nightly trip a month.
In 2009, Palestinians vandalized Joseph's tomb, drawing a Star of David with a boot stamping it on one wall.
In October 2000, at the start of the Second Intifada, Palestinians attacked a small Border Police contingent stationed next to the grave site. One of the policemen was killed after the IDF relied on the PA to evacuate him, in keeping with the Oslo Accords. A nearby yeshiva was ransacked, and holy books were burned.