Over the weekend Palestinian rioters vandalised Joseph’s tomb in the West Bank city of Nablus. During clashes with IDF soldiers, rioters set fire to the site, damages the gravestone, a chandelier hanging about it, a water tank and an electricity closet.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett stated that Israel “will not accept this kind of an attack on a place that is holy to us, particularly on the eve of Passover,” “we will reach the rioters. Of course, we will make sure to rebuild what they destroyed, as we always do.”
Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz called the vandalism of the holy site “extremely serious” and said that he “sent a ‘sharp message’ to the Palestinian Authority about it.”
With Passover only a few days away the attack has stoked religious tensions, which were already heightened due to the concurrent Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Gantz also stated that “the vandalism of Joseph’s Tomb is a serious event and a grave 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.”
“The State of Israel will take action to ensure that the site will be refurbished and quickly returned to its original condition. In addition, we will take all the measures necessary to prevent such incidents.”
Gantz also demanded “the immediate reinforcement of officials on-site and decisive action against rioters and terrorists that harm stability and security in holy places.”
“Attacking holy sites is attacking the heart of a people. The Palestinians who laid waste to Joseph’s Tomb seek to sow destruction and devastation during a holy festival. This is serious damage not only to the tomb itself but to the deeply held feelings of the Jewish people,” said Foreign Minister Yair Lapid.
He went on to say “we will bring the perpetrators to justice and repair Joseph’s Tomb. I call on everyone to promote calm and quiet.”
“I strongly condemn the destruction of Joseph’s tomb tonight by Palestinians. This is a serious attack on an important and sacred place for the Jewish people on the eve of Passover. The place must be renovated immediately and peace and security must be restored,” said former prime minister and opposition head Benjamin Netanyahu.