Photo Credit: Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90
Arabs clash with Israeli soldiers near Joseph's Tomb on Sukkot, October 17, 2019.

Shomron brigade commander Colonel Roi Zweig and two civilians were lightly injured by terrorist gunfire that was directed at the compound of Joseph’s tomb in Shechem overnight Thursday, where hundreds of Jewish worshipers mark the yahrzeit of Joseph, the son of Jacob on the start of the month of Tamuz. Col. Zweig was reportedly hit by shrapnel in his stomach and was evacuated by military helicopter to Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva. The other two injured were evacuated by ambulance.

The terrorists fired from a distance and for long minutes around 1:30 AM, while there were about 300 worshipers inside the compound, out of about 900 who were scheduled to visit under heavy IDF security.

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The IDF Spokesperson issued a statement saying that “during the entry of hundreds of worshipers tonight into Joseph’s Tomb in the city of Shechem in the area controlled by the Samaria Regional Brigade, a massive fire was opened by armed terrorists at the tomb compound. IDF fighters returned fire at the sources of the shooting. Two civilians were injured as a result of the terrorists’ gunfire, and the commander of the Samaria Regional Brigade, Colonel Roi Zweig, was evacuated for medical treatment after he was apparently hit by shrapnel and was lightly injured. IDF forces evacuated all the civilians outside the city of Shechem.”

Samaria Council Head Yossi Dagan, who was at the site during the shooting, reported: “Col. Zweig refused treatment for his injury before he safely evacuated all worshipers.” Dagan added, “We will not give up our hold on Joseph’s tomb and will continue to reach it. We strengthen IDF soldiers, and will defeat the barbaric terrorism of the Palestinian Authority.”

The Arab news site Al Quds reported the other side’s version of Thursday morning’s events: “According to local sources, before midnight, military forces stormed the Joseph’s Tomb area to secure the settlers’ storming of the place to perform Talmudic prayers. Later, hundreds of settlers participated in the storming operation. Immediately after the storming of the occupation forces, confrontations erupted between the occupation forces and young men who threw stones and explosive charges at these forces. According to medical sources, the occupation forces used live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters, injuring about 30 civilians, the vast majority of whom suffocated due to the firing of tear gas canisters. And the occupation forces came under fire from a group of resistance fighters in the same area.”

All we can hope is that the suffocating individuals remain suffocated.

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.