Jewish Worshippers Clash With IDF Soldiers After Infiltrating Nablus

200 religious Jews enter Joseph's Tomb Sunday night, a month after Israeli was killed in the West Bank compound by Palestinian policemen.

Some 200 Jewish worshippers illegally infiltrated Joseph's Tomb and the West Bank city of Nablus on Sunday night, resulting in clashes with Israel Defense Forces soldiers.

An IDF spokesman said Monday that the worshippers, who included Broslev and right-wing activists, were "gravely endangering their lives" by infiltrating the site.

Joseph's Tomb - Nir Kafri - May 4, 2011
Nir Kafri

50 worshippers occupied the roof of the tomb, called for a renewal of Israeli control in the area and clashed with soldiers who tried to disperse them.

At the same time, more than 1,600 worshipers visited Joseph's Tomb Sunday night with the authorization and coordination of the IDF.

The IDF spokesman criticized the Israelis who infiltrated the site, saying "this kind of behavior risks their lives and the lives of IDF soldiers, who were forced to operate in the daylight in the heart of Nablus."

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.

Israel Defense Forces report concluded on Sunday that the Palestinian forces intentionally opened fire, countering initial Palestinian claims that the shooting was a mistake.