Israeli officials have cancelled the proposed incursion of the Israeli military into Josephs Tomb to escort Israeli settlers and MK’s into the area due to threat of counter protests among Palestinians, PNN reports. The Governor of Nablus, Jabrien Al Bakari, said in a statement to Wafa that calm had prevailed and Israeli officials had decided not to go ahead with the visit. The planned incursion was said to be a response to an incident in which a Palestinian policeman shot at a party of Israeli’s who had entered the tomb without coordination from the PA last month.
Joseph’s tomb has been a flash point for clashes between local Palestinians and Israeli settlers in the area due to its religious significance for Jews, Muslims and Christians alike. It lies in Palestinian Authority controlled zones and any visits by Israelis are to be coordinated with Palestinian forces, according to prior agreements.