Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90
Joseph's Tomb

“Once again the barbarians from the Palestinian Authority are showing their true face: ISIS,” head of the Samaria Regional Council Yossi Dagan said.

By Aryeh Savir, TPS

A group of some 100 Muslim rioters attacked Joseph’s Tomb in Shechem (Nablus) on Saturday night and caused massive damage to the building, a Jewish site of prayer.

After throwing rocks at the complex, the rioters set fire to the building, broke the grave marker, and destroyed property. The Palestinian Authority’s police subsequently turned the rioters away.

When Jewish worshippers enter the site, they are routinely attacked by Arab rioters. The entry into Shechem, under Palestinian Authority (PA) control, occurs several times a year, usually around Jewish holidays. The prayers take place only during the night and under heavy security provided by the Israeli forces.

Minister of Defense Benny Gantz issued a statement on Sunday in Hebrew, Arabic, and English in which he said that “the vandalism of Joseph’s Tomb is a grave event and a serious violation of freedom of worship in one of the holiest places for every Jew. It violates the feelings of the entire Jewish nation, especially when it occurs during the Muslim holy month.”

“Israel will take action to ensure that the site is refurbished and quickly returned to its original condition. In addition, we will take all the measures necessary to prevent such incidents,” he declared.

He said he “delivered a strong message to the Palestinian Authority, demanding the immediate reinforcement of their officials on-site, and decisive action against rioters and terrorists that harm stability and security in holy places.”

The Yesha Council stated that the destruction of Joseph’s Tomb “is another crossing of a red line that indicates … the loss of deterrence.”

“We are appalled by the incident and demand strong condemnation from all political parties. The IDF must return to the site of Joseph’s Tomb and preserve the holy place,” the organization stated.

Yossi Dagan, head of the Samaria Regional Council, said that the vandalism is an incident “that shocks every Jew. The destruction of one of the holy places for the Jewish people, just before Passover, the festival of freedom, happened only because the State of Israel abandoned one of the holy places for the Jewish people ‘for the preservation of the criminal Palestinian Authority.”

He demanded “the immediate return of the IDF to the Joseph’s Tomb. The people of Israel in their sovereign state must maintain their sanctities.”

“Once again the barbarians from the Palestinian Authority are showing their true face: ISIS,” he added.

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