An even more disturbing account of the Joseph's tomb murder; UPDATED X3Here's an even more disturbing account of Sunday morning's murder at Joseph's tomb.
One of the Breslovers who was in the second car in the convoy and was lightly wounded told Ynet: "We arrived at the tomb like on many occasions in the past. Near the tomb we saw a spikes chain. One of the guys jumped out of the car and moved it aside.That certainly seems to back up the IDF claim that the visit was not coordinated.
"At this point a uniformed Palestinian police officer with a Kalashnikov in a jeep woke his colleagues up and they started firing into the air…I was in the front seat. We started driving fast in the direction of the tomb; we got out of the vehicles and kissed the tomb.
"When we got back to the vehicles the police shot at the vehicles, they were screaming 'Allahu Akbar'. It was crazy, they were shooting to kill. I screamed at the driver to drive out of there quickly. When we got to Har Bracha we attended to the wounded."
Meanwhile the brother of the 17 year-old injured in the incident told Ynet that his brother and his friends went into Nablus without first coordinating the visit and knew that what they were doing was dangerous.
"When the entries are coordinated nothing happens, this time they entered without coordinating, it was criminal on their part," he explained. "To them this is all about the action and these are the consequences when you run wild."
Chairman of the 'Yesod Olam' association Haim Reicher who is responsible for arranging entries to holy gravesites in the West Bank also visited the injured in hospital. Reicher said that Sunday's foray into Joseph's Tomb was done without his coordination.
Reicher added that usually the visits are coordinated with Palestinian elements and then entry to the tomb is done without any difficulty, as with other holy sites in the West Bank.
"The problems start" Reicher notes, "once every month or two months we enter after first coordinating the visit with the IDF, they give us 10 buses, each one has up to 50 passengers but there are over 500,000 that want to pray at the tomb and the numbers approved by the IDF are insufficient. I can safely say that people go there to pray every night."
But the 'Palestinian police' ought to be capable of doing something besides shooting to kill. The investigation is still pending, but there is no indication that these people were a threat to the 'Palestinian police' or that they were attempting to do anything other than pray at the grave. There is no indication that they were armed. Surely, there must be another method of police action aside from shooting to kill.
And the idea that they were shooting to kill and screaming Allahu Akhbar while doing so has to make every Israeli fear an encounter with the 'Palestinian police.' As if we didn't already.
UPDATE 4:42 PM
Haaretz claims to have results of the investigation. They claim that the Hasidim tried to run a roadblock.
A senior Israel Defense Forces termed the incident "a serious mishap caused by both sides." The army is refraining from referring to the shooting as a terror attack, but has called it an unjustified attack against civilians.Then how did they 'happen' to shoot the people in the car?
The Palestinian Authority opened its own investigation into the matter, and reported that that the officer on duty began shooting in the air in response to the Israelis' "suspicious movement".
Defense Minister Ehud Barak condemned the incident as "murder" and ordered the IDF to carry out an investigation of its own. He also demanded the Palestinians probe the incident quickly and take every step necessary to perpetrate those responsible.
"No problem of coordination can justify an incident like this and the shooting of innocent people," he said.
The officers on duty during the shooting were detained for questioning by the Palestinian Authority, but it is not yet clear whether they will be taken in for investigation by Israeli forces as well.
Livnat and the other three casualties were part of a group of some 15 worshipers who entered the site in three separate cars without military authorization. A Palestinian Authority representative said that the officer fired into the air because he believed that the group was acting suspiciously, but did not aim at the car.
And even if they ran a roadblock and you were suspicious that they had committed a crime, you could shoot the tires out of the car, and demand they come out with their hands behind their heads. There's no need to shoot to kill.
UPDATE 4:47 PM
The police have arrested three of the victims (Hat Tip: Shy Guy).
UPDATE 4:53 PM
Joshuapundit reports that Joseph's tomb was desecrated again before Sunday morning's visit.