IDF Probe: PA Police Targeted Jews 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 at Joseph's Tomb in Nablus last month, an army investigation has concluded. One Israeli man - Ben-Joseph Livnat, the nephew of Culture and Science Minister Limor Livnat, was killed in the incident.

According to the Israel Defense Forces report, the Palestinian police offers acted "recklessly" and with an intention to harm the worshippers, but the incident was not a planned terror attack.

Shooting at Joseph's Tomb near Nablus

IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz toured the Nablus region yesterday. He was briefed by senior IDF officers on the investigations of the Joseph's Tomb incident as well as the murder, in March, of five members of the Fogel family, in the settlement of Itamar.

Gantz said the shots fired by the Palestinian police officers in Nablus "were unjustified; there was no threat to their lives." Livnat was killed during the Passover holiday when he and other Bratslav Hasidim went to pray at Joseph's Tomb.

Hasidic worshippers sometimes enter Nablus to visit the site, despite IDF prohibitions against Israelis entering the city, with the exception of one visit a month that is coordinated between the IDF and the Palestinian Authority.

On the day of the attack, the Jewish group entered the site at 5 A.M., after an IDF force that had been there returned to base. PA security personnel demanded that the Hasidim leave. They then opened fire, killing Livnat and wounding three of his companions.

Last week the Defense Ministry classified Livnat as a victim of enemy fire in the wake of a finding by the IDF Central Command finding that the shooting was deliberate.

Gantz said yesterday he views efforts by Israelis to enter Palestinian cities in contravention of IDF orders as a very grave matter.