Palestinian rioters on Saturday night vandalized Joseph’s Tomb, one of Judaism’s holiest sites, setting it on fire and smashing the gravestone.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett expressed his “shock” over the incident that occurred near the West Bank city of Nablus.
“During the night Palestinians destroyed Joseph’s Tomb. Dozens of Palestinian rioters in a campaign of destruction simply violated a holy place for us, the Jews,” Bennett said at the start of the cabinet meeting.
“We will not stand by such an assault on a place that is holy to us — on the eve of Passover — and we will get to the rioters,” he said. “And of course we will make sure to reconstruct what they destroyed, as we always do.”
Around 100 Palestinians broke into the site overnight amid clashes between Palestinian gunmen and Israeli troops nearby. The Israeli Defense Forces arrested eight Palestinian terror suspects.
The raids were in response to a deadly terror attack in Tel Aviv on Thursday night in which three Israelis were gunned down.
The young Israelis who were murdered in the Palestinian terror attack at a bar in Tel Aviv have been named.
Tomer Morad and Eytam Megini, both 27, were lifelong, childhood friends. Taken too soon and so cruelly by an evil terrorist.
May their memories be a blessing. pic.twitter.com/Gva39T8F5B
— Michael Dickson (@michaeldickson) April 8, 2022
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said the vandalism was a “serious event,” and said he had sent a “strong message” to the Palestinian Authority about the attack on the shrine.
“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,” Gantz said.
“This morning, I 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,” Gantz added.
Human rights lawyer and CEO of the International Legal Forum Arsen Ostrovsky slammed the international community, including the U.N.’s agency for preserving heritage sites, for their failure to condemn the vandalism.
“The attack by Palestinian vigilantes on Joseph’s Tomb, one of the holiest sites in Judaism, was a despicable act of desecration, made even more heinous coming on the eve of the Jewish holiday of Passover,” Ostrovsky told Breitbart.
The aunt of the Palestinian terrorist responsible for a shooting attack that killed five people in a Tel Aviv suburb last week spoke openly of her support for him, stating she was “happy” he became a martyr. https://t.co/W9SL0qdth7
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) April 5, 2022
“Where is the international outrage? Where is UNESCO? Only deafening silence,” he added.
Joseph’s Tomb is located in Nablus, the site of the biblical city of Shechem, which today is under full Palestinian Authority control. Jewish access to the site is restricted, and Jews are only allowed to pray there once a month with heavy military escort. During such visits, pilgrims and IDF troops routinely come under attack from rioting Palestinians, who hurl rocks and Molotov cocktails at them.
Ostrovsky slammed the PA for the “flagrant violation” of its commitments to protect and preserve holy sites under the 1993 Oslo peace accords.
“Whereas Israel does everything to allow freedom of worship and protection of holy sites for Muslims, it is inexplicable and outrageous that the Palestinian leadership would turn its back and allow this kind of defilement, which is also a flagrant violation of international law and the Palestinian Authority’s commitments,” Ostrovsky told Breitbart.
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