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.
The Palestinians have a different versions to the Sunday events. A joint Palestinian-IDF investigation continues.
Minister Limor Livnat is en route to the settlement of Elon Moreh to meet the deceased's family. The funeral will take place in Jerusalem.
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."
Meanwhile the brother of the 17 year-old injured in the incident told Ynet that his brother and his friends went into Nablus without first coordinating the visit and knew that what they were doing was dangerous.
"When the entries are coordinated nothing happens, this time they entered without coordinating, it was criminal on their part," he explained. "To them this is all about the action and these are the consequences when you run wild."
Chairman of the 'Yesod Olam' association Haim Reicher who is responsible for arranging entries to holy gravesites in the West Bank also visited the injured in hospital. Reicher said that Sunday's foray into Joseph's Tomb was done without his coordination.
Reicher added that usually the visits are coordinated with Palestinian elements and then entry to the tomb is done without any difficulty, as with other holy sites in the West Bank.
"The problems start" Reicher notes, "once every month or two months we enter after first coordinating the visit with the IDF, they give us 10 buses, each one has up to 50 passengers but there are over 500,000 that want to pray at the tomb and the numbers approved by the IDF are insufficient. I can safely say that people go there to pray every night."
Palestinian security forces have arrested one suspect in connection with the shooting, who is recounting his version of events with additional members from the patrol force. Palestinian sources who spoke to the IDF have claimed that the shooting was preceded by the Breslovers throwing rocks at the Palestinian police.
Raanan Ben-Zur contributed to the report
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