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The shattered headstone Photo courtesy of the Shomron Regional Council
The shattered headstone Photo courtesy of the Shomron Regional Council
 
 

Joseph's Tomb compound vandalized

Worshippers arriving at compound to hold prayer service shocked to discover smashed headstones, swastika graffiti

Efrat Weiss
Published: 04.23.09, 10:54 / Israel News

Hundreds of Jewish worshipers who arrived at Joseph's Tomb in the West Bank city of Nablus overnight were stunned to find the compound severely vandalized – yet again.

 

Israel pulled its forces out of the compound in October 2000. The IDF disallowed Jewish worshippers from entering it for a long period of time due to security concerns; and deserted, it has been burnt down and defaced many times.

 

December of 2008 saw Joseph Tomb's restored and the military began allowing worshippers to visit it once more, but always at night and under heavy military guard, for their own safety.

 

Wednesday night's visit was approved by the proper military authorities and the IDF provided the worshippers with an escort.


 

Boot prints in the concrete (Photo courtesy of the Shomron Regional Council)

 

The group which entered the compound was made up of some 500 people. Upon entering the tomb they found it had been defaced – the headstone smashed and swastikas sprayed on the walls, as well as graffiti of a blood-dripping sward over a Star of David, and another "trampled" by a boot.

 

Some reported seeing visible boot prints all over the compounds, which they claim are consistent with the Palestinian police standard issue boots.

 

'We are to blame'

"Woe to the nation that allows its sacred places to be vandalized like this over and over again," said Gershon Mesika, head of the Shomron Regional Council, who was among the visitors.

 

"Only barbarians could do such things. People who pathologically disgrace such a holy place don't deserve to be called human beings," he added. "The Palestinian police terrorists have long since lost all shred of humanity. The State of Israel must return to Joseph's Tomb, as even the horrible Oslo Accords state."

 

The Shoulder to Shoulder group, which facilitates worshippers who wish to take part in services held in Joseph's Tomb called the situation "outrageous," adding that "on many a visit to the tombs of the just throughout Samaria we find them desecrated. This situation is unacceptable and must be rectified."

 

Yossi Dagan, of Homesh First, added that "if Jews were to even to consider inflicting one-tenth of this horror on a tomb of an Arab sheik, the entire world would get up on its hind legs and protest. What's absurd is that we are to blame, since even the Oslo Accords place the tomb under our responsibility."

 

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