Palestinians vandalize Joseph's Tomb amid security tensions

Rioters shatter and set fire to the holy Jewish monument, winning condemnation from Israeli officials across the board; Gantz calls attack 'a hit to the freedom of worship,' while Netanyahu says it must be immediately restored
Elisha Ben Kimon|
Palestinians vandalized Joseph's Tomb in Nablus, one of the holiest sites in the Jewish religion, in an attack pre-dawn Sunday amid heightened security tensions in the area.
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  • About 100 Palestinians rioters stormed the site, shattering the tombstone and lit fire to rooms in the monument.
    Palestinians vandalizing Joseph's tomb
    Defense Minister Benny Gantz denounced the vandalization of the tomb, calling it "extremely serious".
    "This is an assault on freedom of worship in one of the holiest places for every Jew, and to the Israeli people in general, especially during the holy Muslim holiday [Ramadan].
    "Israel will make sure to fix the monument, return it to its previous condition as soon as possible, and act with all means necessary, so that an event like this doesn't happen again."
    Gantz added that he "passed along a stern message to the Palestinian Authority that it must boost its forces at the site immediately, and act against the rioters and terrorists that harm the stability, safety, and the holy sites".
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    קבר יוסף לאחר האירוע
    קבר יוסף לאחר האירוע
    Joseph's Tomb vandalized
    Head of the Shomron Regional Council Yossi Dagan was in close contact with security officials and criticized Israel for neglecting to properly protect the Jewish holy site.
    "This is an act that no Jew will not be appalled by. They ruined one of the holiest places for the Jewish people, only because the Israeli state left the place to 'guardianship' of the PA."
    Dagan, in delineating the event, compared the Palestinians to Islamic State, and called on the IDF to take on the guardianship of the holy monument.
    "We're horrified by the event and demand condemnation from all state officials. The IDF must return to the Joseph's Tomb and guard the holy site."
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    קבר יוסף לאחר האירוע
    קבר יוסף לאחר האירוע
    Joseph's Tomb vandalized
    Foreign Minister Yair Lapid also condemned the rioters. "A hit to the holy places is a hit to the peoples' hearts. Harming Joseph's Tomb, amid a holiday of brotherhood and sanctity, is horrifying.
    "This is an insult not only to the tomb itself, but also to the deep emotions of the Jewish nation," Lapid added. "We'll bring justice to the vandalizers."
    Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu also condemned the attack, urging Israel to restore the site as soon soon as possible.
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