IDF: Palestinian Police Intentionally Targeted Worshipers at Joseph's Tomb

Army conclusions counter claims by PA officials, who indicated the incident, which resulted in the death of Ben-Joseph Livnat, 25, was a mistake.

Palestinian forces intentionally opened fire at Israeli Jewish worshipers last month, an Israel Defense Forces report concluded on Sunday, countering initial Palestinian claims that the shooting, which resulted in the death of one Israeli, was a mistake.

Last month, Palestinian security forces opened fire on three cars full of Israelis who entered the West Bank compound of Joseph's Tomb without permission and then tried to break through a local checkpoint.


One Jewish worshiper, 25-year-old Ben-Joseph Livnat, the nephew of Culture and Science Minister Limor Livnat, was killed in the incident.

Palestinian officials, including the Nablus area governor, indicated at the time that the shooting had been a mistake, claiming that the Israeli vehicles failed to heed to Palestinian policemen's orders to stop.

Speaking immediately after the incident, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Palestinian Authority must take severe steps against the policemen who "misbehaved" and opened fire on the Israeli worshipers.

A military report released by the Israel Defense Forces on Sunday concluded that the Palestinian officers that had shot and killed Livnat had done so "maliciously" and with the intent to harm worshipers exiting Joseph's Tomb. However, the report concluded that the event was not a premeditated terror attack.

IDF chief Benny Gantz spoke to reporters during a tour of the Nablus region on Sunday, saying that the Palestinian officers fired "without justification and with no immediate threat to their lives."

Last week, the Defense Ministry announced that Livnat would be officially recognized as a terror victim, following the initial IDF report that concluded that the Palestinian policemen fired at the Jewish worshipers intentionally.