TEL AVIV – Palestinian vandals removed and desecrated a mezuzah – a religious parchment affixed to the doorposts of Jewish homes – from the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron on Friday, Arutz Sheva reported.
The mezuzah was attached to the main door of the tomb which was being used at the time by Muslims for Ramadan prayers.
Thousands of shekels worth of equipment was stolen from a storage shed used by the tomb’s maintenance staff, the report said.
Noam Arnon, the spokesman for Hebron’s Jewish community, called on police to retaliate by cancelling an agreement allowing Muslims to pray in the Tomb of the Patriarchs during the holy month of Ramadan until the stolen items’ return.
“The Committee of Hebron demands that the [access given to] Muslims for the holiday be cancelled in the Tomb of the Patriarchs until the mezuzah is returned, and that severe measures be taken against the thieving terrorists,” Arnon said.
“We cannot have Arab vandals taking advantage of a holiday during which the State of Israel gives them exclusive access to the first Jewish holy site in order to commit crimes against Jewish holy objects,” he added.
Located in the West Bank’s most populous Palestinian city, the Tomb of the Patriarchs is a holy site for both Jews and Muslims, and has a mosque situated atop the burial place of the Biblical patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and their wives, Sarah, Rebecca, and Leah.
Since the onset of the recent wave of violence in October, the tomb has been the site of numerous attacks by Palestinians.
The tomb itself is split into Muslim and Jewish areas, controlled by the Israeli Rabbinate and Islamic Waqf respectively. However, during Muslim and Jewish holidays, each group of worshipers is given access to the entire tomb.