Ten Jews who came to pray Wednesday night at the tomb of Biblical Joshua in the village of Kifl Haris, near Ariel, were attacked by stone throwing local Arabs – but when they called security forces for help they were promptly arrested, the Honenu legal aid society reported.
According to Honenu, which represents the detainees, the group entered the village, which is located in Area B, making it legal for Jews to enter (unlike Area A wich is entirely under Palestinian Authority control), and at some point the resident Arabs started pelting the vehicle with stones. The group managed to reach the graveside compound and sought shelter inside the structure. They then called security forces for help.
Except that, Honenu relates, upon arrival, the Israeli force decided to arrest the ten Jews who came to pray, ignoring the stone throwing Arab mob. Israeli police has announced it plans to arraign the praying Jews in the Petah Tikva Magistrate’s Court. They will be represented by Honenu attorney Hai Haber.
According to the Oslo Accords, Area B of Judea and Samaria is under Palestinian civil control and joint Israeli-Palestinian security control. As of 2013, Area B formally comprised about 22% of the liberated territories, with some 440 Arab villages and their surrounding lands, and no Israeli settlements.
Under the Oslo Accords segment governing religious sites, the Palestinian Authority agrees to ensure free access to a specific list of Jewish religious sites located in Areas A and B as specified in the 1995 “Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.” But because the Arabs are in the habit of firebombing and stoning Jews who attempt to take advantage of the signed agreement, the IDF restricts visits by Jews to “rare occasions.” Meanwhile, in Area C, Arabs enjoy uninterrupted access to sites such as al-Maghtas on the Jordan River and Nabi Musa.
A few months ago an identical episode took place – Jews were attacked by an Arab mob at the Joshua tomb and were promptly arrested by Israeli cops who didn’t bother to deal with the violent attackers. Police plan to ask the court to remand one of the Jews who were arrested Wednesday night because had been arrested a few months ago as well.
A serial praying Jews if we ever saw one.David Israel