Attack on Joseph's Tomb in 2011. (Issam Rimawi/Flash90) (Photo: Issam Rimawi/Flash90)

Israelis who came to celebrate Chanukah in Shechem were upset by Arab vandalism, but they chose to celebrate rather than giving terrorists a victory.

Hundreds of Israelis flock to pray at Joseph's Tomb. (Photo: Yaakov Naumi /Flash90)

Hundreds of Israelis flock to pray at Joseph’s Tomb. (Photo: Yaakov Naumi /Flash90)

Some 1500 Israelis who came to celebrate Chanukah and pray at Joseph’s Tomb in Shechem (Nablus) were dismayed to find the tomb vandalized by Arabs. After not visiting the site for over a month, the Israelis discovered that the electrical system had been damaged and the lighting broken.

Unfortunately, Joseph’s Tomb has been attacked and vandalized many times before.

The visitors immediately cleaned up the site and prepared it for the many others who came Sunday night.

Several dignitaries and IDF officers attended the Chanukah candle-lighting event.

Deputy Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan was quoted by Arutz 7 as saying: “Today, the sixth night of Chanukah, we discovered serious vandalism: they broke the fluorescent lights, destroyed the (traditional) eternal light and again harmed this holy place. It’s particularly painful to see this on the Chanukah holiday.”

“Nevertheless, we lit here, together with the IDF and residents, the Chanukah candles on the roof of Joseph’s Tomb,” said Dagan. “We are certain that as opposed to our entry here today like thieves in the night, we will merit to come here openly with a flag of Israel on this site forever.”

Dagan thanked the IDF for securing the entry of some 20 buses into Shechem.

The tomb is situated in the heart of Shechem, which has a rich Jewish history and biblical heritage.

The tomb is under Palestinian Authority control and is accessed by Israelis only on special occasions, requiring massive IDF support. When Israelis are not there, the site is allegedly secured by the PA but is actually exposed to vandalism. It has been targeted many times by Arabs who come to desecrate the Jewish holy site.

In 2011, a nephew of Science and Culture Minister Limor Livnat, Ben-Joseph Livnat, was murdered by Palestinian security forces while visiting Joseph’s Tomb and four other Israelis were wounded. At his funeral, Limor Livnat stated, “He was murdered simply because he was Jewish.” Palestinians then proceeded to set Joseph’s Tomb on fire and they also attacked the funeral procession of Ben Joseph Livnat with rocks.

In 2008, 16 burning tires were thrown at Joseph’s Tomb and in other instances Joseph’s Tomb has been vandalized with swastikas and other anti-semitic graffiti.

On October 8, 2000, Israeli security forces discovered the bullet-ridden body of Hillel Lieberman, who was last seen heading for Joseph’s Tomb to pray, after hearing that Palestinians were desecrating the site. Jewish holy books were desecrated and a Palestinian flag was raised over the Jewish holy site. Palestinians attempted to transform Joseph’s Tomb into a mosque but were unsuccessful in this endeavor.

By: United with Israel Staff

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