JERUSALEM, Israel - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asked the Palestinian Authority to take appropriate action with the policeman who killed a Jewish worshipper in Nablus over the weekend.
On Sunday, a Palestinian policeman killed 25-year-old Ben Yosef Livnat and wounded four others when he opened fire on a three-car convoy. Livnat, nephew of Netanyahu's cabinet minister Limor Livnat, and 15 others were leaving the tomb of the biblical figure, Joseph, after praying there.
"It was cold blooded murder," Livnat said of his nephew's slaying. "He went to pray in the morning with some friends, to pray for the holiday. He wasn't armed; they weren't armed. He was killed simply because he was Jewish."
The policeman in question said the group was suspicious, but a witness reported he had shouted the Islamic phrase, "Allah huAkbar" (Allah is greater). Palestinians rioted at the tomb after the shooting. Click here to read an extensive report on U.S. military training of Palestinian security forces.
Joseph's Tomb is an area under complete Palestinian jurisdiction in the city of more than 125,000 Arabs. It's illegal for Israelis to go there without prior coordination with the Israeli army.
"This is the first lethal attack that's taken place in several years," Israel Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said. "Normally, the people who enter inside Nablus are coordinated through the Palestinian Authority, the Israeli police and the IDF," he said.
But according to Israeli-Palestinian agreements, the tomb is supposed to be a protected Jewish holy site.
Knesset member Danny Danon raised the question of the Palestinian police, who have been trained and equipped through programs supported by the U.S. and Europe.
Danon contacted U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., and said he expected that "the U.S. objective of training the P.A. is to ensure the security of Israel and not the killing of its citizens."