Tomb of Otniel Ben Kenaz 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Israeli security forces detained four settlers on Thursday evening, after a
larger group of 20 Jewish worshippers entered the Palestinian area of Hebron
without a permit to pray at the tomb of Otniel Ben Kenaz.
The IDF and the
Border Police rounded up all 20 of the settlers and forced them to return to the
Israeli section of Hebron.
Hebron activist Baruch Marzel, who was among
those stopped by security forces, told The Jerusalem Post
that the settlers had
applied for a permit to worship at the tomb, but the IDF denied their
He added that settlers have received these permits for many
years so that they could pray at Otniel’s tomb at the end of the fast of Tisha
Military sources told the Post that the permit was not granted
automatically, but rather on a case-by-case basis, out of consideration for
But Marzel said that the permit’s denial was arbitrary
and ran counter to past agreements with the Palestinians, which guaranteed them
freedom to worship.
He said that he was stopped by security forces on his
way to the tomb, but that other worshippers had reached it.