SWC Condemns Shooting of Israeli Worshippers After Prayers at Joseph’s Tomb

April 24th, 2011

“It is inconceivable that Israel should be pressured to hand over control of Holiest Jewish and Christian Sites to the Palestinians”

The Simon Wiesenthal Center condemns the murder of Ben Yosef Livnat and the wounding of four other Chassidic Jews by a Palestinian Authority policeman following prayers at Joseph’s Tomb outside of Nablus. “Once again Jews have been murdered and wounded for the ‘sin’ of praying at a Holy site controlled by the Palestinian Authority,” charged Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, Dean and Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish Human Rights NGO.

Ben Yosef Livnat, and a group of other Breslov Chassidim, whose members regularly pray at Joseph’s Tomb were shot as Jews the world over celebrate the Passover Festival.

“Today is also Easter. Over 250,000 Jews and Christians have visited Israel during the holy seasons and everyone’s right to pray at religious sites in Jerusalem and elsewhere in the Holy Land continues to be protected by the State of Israel. It is inconceivable that so many in the world continue to demand that Israel cede control of the holiest sites of Christians and Jews to the Palestinian Authority, an entity unable or unwilling to provide full and safe access to the sites that they already control,” Wiesenthal Center officials concluded.

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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400.000 members. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the OAS and the Latin American Parliament.