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Today, the Palestinians celebrated “Passover” by once again desecrating the Tomb of the Biblical Joseph, as they have done three times before.

A group of Breslov Hassidim’s regular twilight visit to Palestinian controlled Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus came to a tragically violent end Sunday: According to one of the Breslovers, Palestinian police officers fired at the convoy as they were on their way in to the Tomb.

The fire continued as they drove out, killing Ben-Yosef Livnat, a 24 year-old father of four from Jerusalem and the nephew of Minister Limor Livnat, and injuring five others.

One of the Breslovers who was in the second car in the convoy and was lightly wounded told Ynet: “We arrived at the tomb like on many occasions in the past. Near the tomb we saw a spikes chain. One of the guys jumped out of the car and moved it aside.

“At this point a uniformed Palestinian police officer with a Kalashnikov in a jeep woke his colleagues up and they started firing into the air…I was in the front seat. We started driving fast in the direction of the tomb; we got out of the vehicles and kissed the tomb.

“When we got back to the vehicles the police shot at the vehicles, they were screaming ‘Allahu Akbar’. It was crazy, they were shooting to kill. I screamed at the driver to drive out of there quickly. When we got to Har Bracha we attended to the wounded.”

According to the IDF Following its own initial investigation, the PA policemen were fully aware that the men they fired on were Israeli worshipers who were unarmed and posed no threat .Following the murder of  the Israeli Jew, the Palestinians tried to set Joseph’s Tomb on fire as they have done twice before

The murder of Livnat and the subsequent attempt to burn the Tomb of Joseph represents another step in the Palestinians attempt to destroy any connection between Jewish heritage and the Holy Land.

A major strategy of the Palestinians in their goal of ultimately taking over all of Israel is to deny Jewish and Christian ties to the land. That’s why they hold on to the Temple Mount and destroy artifacts. It is why they burned down Joseph’s Tomb (and tried twice since),  it was it is why they are targeting Rachel’s Tomb calling it the Bilal Bin Rabah Mosque. Its also why they tried to build a latrine on top of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher

According to a May 11, 1997, report in Ha’aretz, “A Waqf internal report, written two weeks ago by the Waqf’s Jerusalem engineer, ‘Isam ‘Awad, confirms many of the Christians’ claims in the conflict that has emerged adjacent to the Holy Sepulcher Church regarding construction in the Church. The Church’s claim [is] that the Waqf has harmed the historical and architectural substance of the Holy Sepulcher, as a result of a construction addition to the courtyard of the ‘Hanaqa,’ which leans on the wall of the Holy Sepulcher and even darkens it by its height.”

October 2009. Bethlehem – Ma’an Palestinian News-Rachel’s Tomb lies behind Israel’s eight-meter concrete separation wall in a fortified enclave close to the center of Bethlehem. The wall criss-crosses Bethlehem, blocking the main road to Jerusalem, encircling a refugee camp and looming over the upscale Intercontinental hotel.

Right-wing religious groups petitioned Israel’s highest court in 2004 to re-route the wall to include the tomb on the western side. To this day the site, formerly known as the location of the Bilal Bin Rabah Mosque, is accessible only from the Israeli side.


In 2000, after hundreds of years of recognizing the site as Rachel’s Tomb, Muslims began calling it the “Bilal ibn Rabah mosque.” Members of the Wakf used the name first in 1996, but it has since entered the national Palestinian discourse. Bilal ibn Rabah was an Ethiopian known in Islamic history as a slave who served in the house of the prophet Muhammad as the first muezzin (the individual who calls the faithful to prayer five times a day).When Muhammad died, ibn Rabah went to fight the Muslim wars in Syria, was killed in 642 CE, and buried in either Aleppo or Damascus. The Palestinian Authority claimed that according to Islamic tradition, it was Muslim conquerors who named the mosque erected at Rachel’s Tomb after Bilal ibn Rabah, belying the fact that a vast amount of literature written by pilgrims – Jewish, Christian and Muslim – documents the site as Rachel’s burial place.

Jews have visited the site for generations, coming to pray, request and plead. The place became a kind of miniature Wailing Wall where observant Jews came to pour out their hearts and recount their misfortunes at the bosom of the beloved mother, where they could find consolation and cure.

According to Jewish tradition, Rachel’s tears have special powers. Beginning with the first exile of the Jewish people from the Holy Land, tradition says Rachel’s weeping convinced God to make the exile a short one:

So says the Lord: A voice is heard on high, lamentation, bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children, she refuses to be comforted for her children for they are not. So says the Lord: Refrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for there is reward for your work, says the Lord, and they shall come back from the land of the enemy. And there is hope for your future, says the Lord, and the children shall return to their own border.

Since its establishment, the State of Israel every single agreement transferring responsibility for Jewish holy places to neighboring Arab or Palestinian rule has been broken.

  • On April 3, 1949, Israel signed an armistice with Jordan. According to Paragraph 8, Article 2 of the agreement, Jordan was to allow Israel “free access to the Holy Places and cultural institutions and use of the cemetery on the Mount of Olives.” In practice, not only could Jews not visit the graves of their loved ones on the Mount of Olives, but the site was desecrated. Headstones of Jewish graves were shattered and some were used as paving stones or in construction. Jordan did not allow Jews free access to their holy places, and for 19 years, until 1967, Jews could not go to the Western Wall, Rachel’s Tomb, the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, Joseph’s Tomb in Shechem (Nablus), or other sites sacred to Jews which remained in Jordanian hands.
  • In May 1994, Israel signed the Gaza-Jericho Agreement in Cairo. According to Article 15 of Annex II, “the Palestinian Authority shall ensure free access to all holy sites in the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area,” mentioning the Naaran synagogue, the Jewish cemetery in Tel Sammarat, the “Shalom al Israel” synagogue in Jericho, and the synagogue in Gaza City.
  • On September 28, 1995, the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement was signed on the White House lawn, making the Palestinians responsible for civilian and security matters in additional areas of the West Bank. In accordance with the agreement, Israel withdrew from six Palestinian cities and part of Hebron; the IDF and the civil administration were withdrawn. In addition, Israel withdrew from 450 villages, towns, refugee camps, and other areas throughout the West Bank.The holy sites in those regions, or adjacent regions (access to which passed through or close to Palestinian areas), were designated as “sites of religious significance” or “archaeological sites.” The agreement also dealt with the status of 23 places holy to Jews, including the tombs of biblical figures, the ruins of ancient synagogues, and ancient cemeteries. The Palestinians promised to assure freedom of access to those places.

In every single case  the Palestinians either made access extremely difficult for Jews to get to the holy sites or or prevented access entirely.

It had to be one of the most flagrant, desecrations of a holy site in the history of humankind, on October 7, 2000, after Israeli troops retreated from a post just outside the northern West Bank city of Nablus, or Biblical Shechem, following coordinated, deadly attacks against Jews there, scores of Palestinians stormed Joseph’s Tomb and nearly destroyed the site believed to be the burial place of the biblical patriarch Joseph – the son of Jacob who was sold by his brothers into slavery and later became the viceroy of Egypt.

Joseph’s tomb is the third holiest site in Judaism after the Temple Mount and the Tomb of the Patriarchs. They tried to burn it down again in February of 2008, and again today.

What makes today’s attacks particularly significant is that it occurs during the holiday of Passover, which celebrates the Israelites Exodus from Egypt. One of Moses’ lasts acts in Egypt was to retrieve the body of Joseph so his bones could be brought into the holy land.

And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straightly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you. Exodus 13:19

And the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, buried they in Shechem, in a parcel of ground which Jacob bought from sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for an hundred pieces of silver: and it became the inheritance of the children of Joseph. Joshua 24:32

The Palestinians are targeting the Jewish sites in the holy land by saying that they were really Muslim sites.  Christians shouldn’t feel left out, because they are staking their claims to Christian Heritage sites also.  They have built the al-Hanaqa Mosque adjacent to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (and the latrine for the mosque on the roof of the church)

T]he Palestinian Authority-appointed Waqf (Moslem religious property) authorities attempted to break through into the Church of the Holy Sepulcher from the adjacent al-Hanaqa Mosque. [They] decided to install a latrine on the roof of the Church [he illegal construction was halted only after Israeli and world pressure.]

According to a May 11, 1997, report in Ha’aretz, “A Waqf internal report, written two weeks ago by the Waqf’s Jerusalem engineer, ‘Isam ‘Awad, confirms many of the Christians’ claims in the conflict that has emerged adjacent to the Holy Sepulcher Church regarding construction in the Church. The Church’s claim [is] that the Waqf has harmed the historical and architectural substance of the Holy Sepulcher, as a result of a construction addition to the courtyard of the ‘Hanaqa,’ which leans on the wall of the Holy Sepulcher and even darkens it by its height.”

They have even positioned terrorists next to Churches in the hopes that Israel will fire upon and damage holy sites.

Additionally, the Tanzim have chosen positions near churches in Beit Jallah (most notably the Church of St. Nicholas), hoping that Israel’s return fire will hit a church. Then the Christian West would read in newspapers that Israel is targeting churches. As it is, even without the Israeli bullets hitting a church, the news cameras almost always show St. Nicholas, delivering a subliminal message that Jews are firing at Christians.

Today the Palestinian Authority killed a father of four and tried to burn down the tomb of Joseph. And the world is just itching to give them a state and let them “protect” holy sites. How can the world not see what is really happening?

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