Nir Hasson
April 24, 2011 - 12:00am

Hundreds attended the funeral of Ben-Joseph Livnat Sunday, who was killed and three others were wounded earlier in the day when a Palestinian security officer opened fire on their car as they were leaving the holy site of Joseph's Tomb near the West Bank city of Nablus.

The funeral procession left Alon More near Nablus, heading toward the Mount of Olives Graveyard. Livnat, 25, is the nephew of Science and Culture Minister Limor Livnat, and is survived by his wife and four children.

The culture minister, accompanied by her parents at the funeral, said that her "nephew was killed by a terrorist disguised as a Palestinian policeman, through no fault of his own, just because he wished to pray. He was a person who just wanted to do good."

She tearfully added "my nephew was named for Shlomo Ben-Joseph who sacrificed his soul for the land of Israel, and now my nephew has been murdered for the land of Israel, my dear son."

The minister recalled how she "woke up this morning to a call from Ben-Joseph's mother, telling me he was killed by a terrorist dressed as a Palestinian policeman, and this is cold blooded murder."

She said that all her nephew was trying to do was pray, and he was only killed "because he is Jewish".

Livnat's father, Noam Livnat, spoke at the funeral that took place on Sunday afternoon because of the Passover holiday that begins in the evening.

The bereaved father eulogized his son, saying "how wonderful is my lot, that I was blessed with such a son." He said that revenge for Livnat's death "would not be relevant," saying this is only one murder in many wars that must be avenged, and "the revenge that is needed is not new."

During and after the funeral, many of the funeral participants clashed with Palestinians in the West Bank village of Hawara.

The Israelis approached the village and began throwing stones at Palestinian vehicles, lightly wounding a child. The angry youth torched a car and tried to burn down a house, but were stopped after large security forces were deployed in the area.

The Israel Defense Forces officially pulled out of Joseph's Tomb in 2000, at the beginning of the second Palestinian Intifada.

Following years of closure, Jewish worshipers are now able to enter Nablus often with a military escort to pray at the small building traditionally identified as the tomb of the biblical Joseph, located inside a Palestinian-ruled area.

Those visits are coordinated with Palestinian security forces. The Israelis' entrance on Sunday, however, appeared not to have been cleared with either side.

Israeli and Palestinian security forces in the West Bank have close ties. A meeting between the sides was scheduled later Sunday to discuss the incident, the military said.


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