This is a positive turnaround – the beginning of a ray of light, members of the Committee of Samaria Dwellers, of Breslov Hassidim, told Ynet on Wednesday after learning that Palestinians have begun cleaning Joseph's Tomb in Nablus.
"We thank the security forces and Arab sources who took part in this, and we hope that things continue like this until the tomb's liberation," the committee added.
Since the battle which took place around the tomb at the start of the al-Aqsa Intifada seven years ago, in which Border Policeman Madhat Yusuf was killed and the site was abandoned, grievances have been expressed over the abandoned and dirty state of tomb, and the way the site has been violated by Palestinians.
Tires have been burnt there, and a large portion of garbage has been dumped on the site. From time to time, Israelis, mainly Breslov hassidim, have attempted to reach the tomb, violating the ban on Israelis from reaching the site.
A source in the Samaria Committee told Ynet, "For seven years, the place looked atrocious. This holy place has turned into a city dumb, and the tombstone wasn't visible."
On Saturday evening, the Breslove hassidim were helped by their Palestinian friends, as happens occasionally. The hassidim gave the Palestinians cameras and asked to photograph the tomb. This time, results were surprising – the Palestinians had begun to clean the area.
The committee sees the change as a positive turnaround, which it says will eventually lead to a fundamental renovation of the tomb.
The committee members thanked Knesset Member Meir Porush (United Torah Judaism) for his help in the matter, and said they hoped fixed security would be placed on the site during the day to safeguard its newly improved state.