(JNS.org) Palestinian rioters on Friday set fire to Nablus-based Joseph's Tomb, a site holy to Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, damaging it heavily.
At least 100 Palestinians rioted outside the site as part of a "Day of Rage" across the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem. They threw a firebomb inside the premises, which set part of the site on fire. Rioters also threw rocks at Israeli troops. Multiple fires caused by the rioting were eventually put out by Palestinian security forces who control the site. Jewish prayer is allowed at the site, though under strict security guidelines.
Israeli leaders, such as Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Uri Ariel (Habayit Hayehudi), slammed the desecration of the site. Ariel called the incident "a new low, and a direct result of the Palestinian incitement."
"The Palestinians outright lie about Israel infringing on the status quo on the Temple Mount while desecrating and torching a Jewish holy site. This is unforgivable," he said, according to Israel Hayom.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas issued a statement stressing "his rejection of these actions and all actions that violate law and order, and which distort our culture, our morals, and our religion."
Abbas was also criticized for his role in inciting much of the Palestinian violence that has taken place in recent weeks. The incitement is "nothing short of barbarism by the Palestinian Authority and its leader. This proves, yet again, that this 'partner' cannot be trusted," said Yossi Dagan, head of the Samaria Regional Council.
Palestinian sources also reported on Friday that amid the "Day of Rage," three Palestinian rioters were killed. The IDF said it is investigating the incidents and confirmed that its troops did fire at the lower bodies of at least 15 rioters in an attempt to push them back from the security fence, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.