Thousands attend funeral of Nablus shooting victim

Limor Livnat on nephew's murder: "He was murdered simply because he was a Jew"; some mourners stone Palestinian cars, call for revenge.

April 24, 2011 17:29
2 minute read.
IDF soldiers, MDA crews at scene in Nablus.

Nablus shooting 311. (photo credit: Reuters)


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Thousands of people on Sunday attended the funeral of Ben Yosef Livnat, who was shot dead earlier in the day by a Palestinian policeman at Joseph's Tomb in Nablus. Livnat was laid to rest at the Mount of Olives cemetery in Jerusalem.

The funeral was attended by settlement leaders from the West Bank, right-wing activists, rabbis and public figures, and Minister of Sports and Culture Limor Livnat, Ben Yosef's aunt.

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During the funeral, the sports and culture minister commented on her nephew's murder, saying "I woke up this morning, Ben Yosef's mom called me and told me he was murdered by a terrorist disguised as a Palestinian policeman. This is cold-blooded murder. Ben Yosef went to pray with other Jews, and he was murdered simply because he was Jewish. It is hard to grasp these things. My own nephew, a personal sacrifice, may he be the last victim."

Some participants at the funeral made calls for revenge for Ben Yosef's murder. However, the victim's father, Noam Livnat, said "revenge is irrelevant because the murderers will get what they deserve."

Other teens and young adults who were part of Livnat's funeral procession from the Elon Moreh settlement to Jerusalem, stoned and burned Palestinian cars in the Samaria region, injuring one Palestinian lightly.

Settlers said that it was "scandalous" that Palestinians were allowed to drive on the road on a day like this.

Ben Yosef Livnat was killed when a vehicle he was in was shot at by a Palestinian Authority policeman as he and a group of other worshipers were exiting the city from prayer services held at Joseph's Tomb. Magen David Adom said one person was in serious condition, one in moderate condition and two others in light condition. The four were detained by police for obstructing the investigation and refusing to tell authorities their version of events. Police have requested the Haifa Magistrate's Court extend the remand of three of the injured.

According to an IDF initial investigation, three vehicles containing Breslev worshipers entered the tomb in violation of a decree by the IDF's Central Command prohibiting entry of Israelis into Area A without prior coordination. A verbal confrontation ensued between the worshipers and the Palestinian policemen, who called on them to leave the area. The Breslev vehicles failed to stop at a checkpoint outside of the religious site, the investigation found. The policemen then fired shots in the air. The worshipers tried to flee the area, and their vehicles came under fire, killing Livnat, 24, father of four, and wounding four others.

Following its own initial investigation, The IDF believes the PA policemen were fully aware that the men they fired on were Israeli worshipers who were unarmed and posed no threat despite entering the area without proper security coordination.

Yaakov Lappin and Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.

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