Photo Credit: Nasser Ishtayeh / Flash 90
Palestinian Authority Arabs block the streets leading to Joseph's Tomb, in the city of Shechem on November 22, 2022.

Palestinian Authority terrorists opened fire late Tuesday night at Jewish worshipers who arrived under heavy guard by IDF soldiers for prayers at the Tomb of the Biblical Patriarch Joseph in the city of Shechem.

The terrorists attempted to block the road leading to the Tomb using piles of trash that were set aflame along with the gunfire and explosives hurled at the troops.

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At least five terrorists were injured when IDF soldiers returned fire, according to Arab media.

Among those hit was a 16-year-old terrorist, who subsequently died of his wounds, and another who was listed in critical condition, according to the Palestinian Authority Health Ministry.

According to the reports, hospitals in Shechem were placed on emergency footing in response to the influx of terrorists who were hit by IDF soldiers during the shootout.

The Shechem-based Lion’s Den terrorist organization and a local wing of the Iranian-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad jointly claimed responsibility for the attacks on Israeli soldiers at the Tomb.

Palestinian Authority terrorists usually attack Jewish worshipers when they visit Joseph’s Tomb at the start of each Hebrew month in the Jewish calendar. They are repelled by the IDF soldiers who escort the worshipers on their monthly pilgrimages to the Tomb.

Earlier in the day, the parents of Israeli Border Guard Police Officer Madahat Yousouf arrived at a site near the Tomb to dedicate a monument in his memory together with Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan.

Yousouf was killed during the Second Intifada by a mob of Palestinian Authority Arabs – including PA police officers – who attacked the Tomb and Israeli personnel deployed to the site with gunfire, Molotov cocktails and rocks. On that night – October 1, 2022, Yousouf was shot by an Arab sniper.

Lying there bleeding from his wounds, the Druze police officer waited for four hours before he could be evacuated by IDF personnel. Israeli commanders had waited for the Palestinian Authority to send its own forces to evacuate the Israelis who were trapped, rather than send in their own IDF troops. Yousouf died before help arrived.

The Tomb was also desecrated by the attacking Palestinian Authority Arabs.

“We are all bound by blood. . .to each other, to the land of Samaria, and to Joseph’s Tomb which we will never, ever abandon,” Dagan said, telling the officer’s parents it was a “great privilege” to host them in Samaria. “It is a great privilege for us to salute today the late Madahat by erecting this monument, which stands next to the names of the fallen heroes of Samaria.”

During the visit, Parha and Salman Yousouf, Madahat’s parents, observed the spot where their son lost his life from nearby Mitzpe Yosef overlooking the Tomb.

“It is an unbearable feeling to repeat the event, even after 22 years,” his grieving mother said.

“We received the news with many tears; we didn’t believe it would happen,” she said. “I always believed he would come home.

“Madahat spoke to me for 15 minutes before he was hit, and then we lost contact with him. It was very difficult.”

The police officer’s father Salman thanked Dagan for initiating the construction of the monument in Madahat’s memory. “I feel as if he is my son,” he said. “I respect him. I wish for peace between you and your neighbors.”

The officer’s brother likewise had warm words for Dagan, noting that Dagan had told them during his visit to them at their home in Beit Jann that the Tomb was supposed to be guarded and protected by Israeli soldiers.

“Why did Madahat have to fall? Joseph’s Tomb should be entered in the light of day and not like thieves in the night,” he said.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.