Palestinian Authority giving 24-hour protection to the holy site following two attempted attacks in the past week.
By Pesach Benson, United With Israel
Palestinian security forces have thwarted two attempts to burn down Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus in recent days, a PA official confirmed to the Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.
The official told the Post that the attempts to torch the holy site came on Friday and Sunday nights. He also said the PA has been heavily criticized for “serving as guards for Jewish settlers” and for being unable to to defend Palestinians from what he called “settlers’ aggression.” PA security forces, the official said, have “clear and firm” orders to prevent any damage to the holy site.
According to the Post, some 50 Palestinians, many carrying firebombs, marched towards the tomb. PA security forces using tear gas and batons prevented the Palestinians from reaching the site.
A second attempt to torch the site was made on Sunday with 200 Palestinians from the nearby Balata refugee camp seeking to storm Joseph’s Tomb. Again, they were blocked by PA security from reaching the holy site.
In lieu of the two attempts, the PA is now giving Joseph’s Tomb 24-hour protection, according to a Palestinian media report cited by the Post.
The holy site is revered as the resting place of Joseph, the son of the Biblical Patriarch Jacob as described in the Book of Joshua (24:32). Several rabbinic commentaries say Joseph wanted to be buried in Nablus (also known as Shechem) because that was area where his brothers sold him into slavery.
Palestinians have claimed that the tomb is the burial place of medieval Sheikh Yusef Al-Dwaik.
Jewish pilgrims visiting Joseph’s Tomb must do so with IDF protection. Palestinians have sometimes fired shots on convoys escorting Jewish worshippers in armored busses to the holy site. Nablus
Palestinians ransacked and burnt down the holy site in 2000 and in 2015.
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