None hurt as bomb thrown at Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem
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None hurt as bomb thrown at Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem

No damage reported after homemade device explodes at holy site south of Jerusalem

A man walks past the security barrier near Rachel's Tomb, on the outskirts of Bethlehem  (photo credit: Serge Attal/Flash90/File)
A man walks past the security barrier near Rachel's Tomb, on the outskirts of Bethlehem (photo credit: Serge Attal/Flash90/File)

A pipe bomb thrown by Palestinians at the Rachel’s Tomb pilgrimage site in Bethlehem Tuesday morning exploded without causing injuries or damage, police said.

Sappers and Border Police forces responded to the scene, police spokeswoman Luba Samri said in a statement.

No injuries or damage to the tomb site, visited by dozens of Jewish pilgrims daily, were caused by the explosion, Samri said.

Police have opened an investigation into the incident.

Rachel’s Tomb is traditionally believed to be the burial place of the biblical matriarch Rachel. It is holy to Jews, Christians, Muslims and members of other world religions.

The site is in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem but is surrounded by high walls and closely guarded by the IDF. A heavily fortified road used by pilgrims connects the enclave to Jerusalem’s southern neighborhoods.

Last year, an explosive device was discovered by officers outside the tomb, prompting them to seal off the area and call in a bomb disposal unit. After inspecting the device, a sapper disarmed it, a police spokesperson said at the time. Seven Palestinian teenagers from the nearby Aida refugee camp were arrested in connection with the attack.

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