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Joseph’s Tomb Gravestone Destroyed • Friday February 21, 2003

Arutz Sheva (Israel), Feb. 21, 2003

The Arab destruction of Joseph’s Tomb is practically complete. Some time in the past two weeks, Arab vandals hacked away at the large two-meter stone marking the gravesite of the Biblical figure, leaving barely more than a pile of rubble.

Chief IDF Rabbi Brig.-Gen. Yisrael Weiss recently visited the site in Shechem, and discussed its current sorry state with regional IDF commanders. The tomb, under Israeli jurisdiction according to the Oslo Accords, was taken over by Arab mobs when the PLO initiated its ongoing terrorist war.

The Moslem occupiers initially desecrated Joseph’s monument and destroyed religious books inside the tomb compound, before proclaiming it a mosque. It was liberated by the IDF during last April’s Operation Defensive Shield. Currently, even though Israeli authority has been restored to the site, no Israeli worshipers are allowed to visit, and the holy site is not regularly guarded. Several members of the Chassidic Breslover sect have been arrested attempting to reach the tomb, although many have successfully reached it.

The Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva, located for many years at the holy site, issued a press release demanding the “immediate safeguarding of Yosef’s Tomb by the IDF, the ability to worship there again, and the return, finally, of Yeshivat Od Yosef Chai, which was expelled from there at the outbreak of the current Oslo War.”

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