Photo Credit: Screenshot, Arab Social Media
Joseph's Tomb was damaged by Arab rioters, April 10, 2022.

An estimated 100 Arab rioters from the Balata refugee camp in Shechem entered Joseph’s Tomb, one of the holiest Jewish sites, overnight Sunday, set fire to the compound, damaged the tombstone over the grave, damaged the chandelier, and smashed the electrical cabinet.

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The riot in the holy compound, which was empty at the time, was in retaliation for a large-scale overnight raid by IDF, Shin Bet, and Border Police forces in three main centers: the city of Jenin, the Balata refugee camp in Shechem, and the village of Ya’bad, home of the terrorist who massacred five Jews in Bnei Brak.

The forces arrested a squad of terrorists who intended to carry out an attack in Israel. During the operation, Arab residents threw stones, rocks, Molotov cocktails, and explosive devices at the soldiers. The fighters used live fire in response to the violent protests that developed in Ya’bad village during the raid. PA sources reported that in a clash between Ya’bad residents and IDF soldiers, an Arab was wounded in the abdomen by gunfire.

Clashes with local armed Arabs in all three areas escalated and an exchange of fire broke out. PA social media reports snipers on rooftops, gunfire exchange, several wounded, and four wanted persons detained during the operation. There were no casualties to the Israeli forces.

PA media reported several wounded Arab rioters who were evacuated to hospitals in ambulances.

Joseph’s Tomb was last set on fire in 2015, when hundreds of Arabs overran the site. PA security forces dispersed them and extinguished the flames, and the tomb itself was not apparently damaged, although the women’s section was heavily damaged. Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said at the time that the Arab rioters’ only goal is “to harm places which are holy to Jews, which teach our thousands-year-old connection to that place.”

Head of Samaria Regional Council Yossi Dagan reacted angrily to the overnight destruction of the sacred tomb, saying: “This is an act that would shock every Jew, the destruction of one of the holy places for the Jewish people, just before Passover, which happened only because the State of Israel has abandoned this holy place for the Jewish people to the ‘care’ of the Palestinian Authority. We demand the immediate return of the IDF to Joseph’s tomb. The people of Israel in their sovereign state must preserve their sanctuaries.”

MK Itamar Ben Gvir responded to the destruction of Yosef’s Tomb, saying: “The head of the snake is the PA members who are heating up, inciting active partners in terrorism, and harming the holy sites of Israel. If there were a government in Israel, it would have had to launch a huge operation inside the PA and erase the Abbas government––a government of terrorists who shed Jewish blood and harm the holy sites of Israel.”

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.