'Palestinian Oslo breaches spur settlements'

Visiting Joseph's Tomb, Yishai says Jews should be allowed to frequent site more often; criticizes IDF on women singing issue.

November 24, 2011 10:37
1 minute read.
Interior Minister Eli Yishai.

Eli Yishai 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)


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The only way to deal with the Palestinian breaches of the Oslo Accords is to accelerate construction in Jerusalem and the West Bank,  Interior Minister Eli Yishai said Wednesday night during a speech at Joseph's Tomb.

Yishai visited the tomb for prayers, along with another 1,400 worshipers in a visit coordinated with the IDF and the police.

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Swastikas left at Joseph's Tomb in Nablus

"Many citizens desire and long to visit Joseph's Tomb - which according Oslo belongs to us -  but at the moment is it only possible to visit once a month, hidden, at night. This is something that needs to be corrected."

Yishai criticized the fact that Palestinians actually control the site.

Yishai also spoke about the controversial issue of women singing in the IDF, which has recently provoked heated debate after comments made by chief rabbi of Samaria and rabbi of the Elon Moreh settlement, Elyakim Levanon. The rabbi said that religious IDF soldiers should risk facing army fire rather than listening to women sing. Yishai  criticized army policy: "On the one hand they ask that haredim [ultra-Orthodox Jews]  join the army, and they enlist in droves," said Yishai. "It's a great shame that haredim have the will to enlist but they are not allowed to work according to their faith and tradition. I hope this does not affect their desire to join," he added.    

While the majority of the worshipers had permits to enter the site, The IDF arrested 13 Israelis Thursday morning, on suspicion of infiltrating into the tomb illegally. Police say that they issued a restraining order against three of the detainees.

The IDF also arrested a Palestinian who threw stones at soldiers guarding the entrance to the tomb.


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