According to Israeli media reports, the Israeli security establishment has decided to indefinitely halt visits to the Joseph’s Tomb located in the Palestinian city of Nablus due to the heightened security situation in the West Bank.
The IDF is seeking to limit its activity in the northern West Bank city in order to allow the Palestinian Authority’s security forces more autonomy to operate there. Since Joseph’s Tomb is located inside Area A of the West Bank, which is officially under complete PA control, the IDF bars Israeli citizens from entering Area A without prior authorization.
As it stands, visits to Joseph’s Tomb by Orthodox Israelis take place on a monthly basis, and these almost always spark violent clashes with Palestinian locals when the IDF enters Nablus beforehand to secure the area for the arrival of the hardline pilgrims. Jenin and Nablus, where the tomb is located, are two northern West Bank cities that have seen near nightly Israeli raids aimed at arresting individuals whom the military says are Palestinian terror chiefs responsible for a wave of attacks. Earlier this year, these attacks took the lives of 19 people in Israel and the West Bank. The army says many of these fighters are seeking to carry out additional attacks against Israelis.
Following recent escalations, a senior military official said on Thursday that the IDF has not decided to take the decision to begin carrying out targeted assassinations against Palestinian terror chiefs in the territory, concluding that such a drastic step would leave to a further deterioration of the security situation.