A large group of Palestinians set fire to the compound containing Joseph’s Tomb in the West Bank city of Nablus.
Channel 2 television said Palestinian Authority security forces dispersed the hundred-strong crowd and managed to douse the fire at the tomb, believed to contain the remains of the biblical patriarch Joseph. Israel Defense Forces troops arrived at the scene once the confrontation was over and the fire was out, the television station reported.
The Walla website also reported that PA security forces had brought the fire under control and dispersed the rioters. The blaze caused major damage to the women’s section at the site, the website said.
There were no reports of any injuries in the incident, which followed a day of relative calm in Israel and the West Bank after weeks of deadly Palestinian terror attacks and clashes.
“The burning and desecration of Joseph’s Tomb last night is a blatant violation and contradiction of the basic value of freedom of worship. The IDF will take all measures to bring the perpetrators of this despicable act to justice, restore the site to its previous condition and ensure that the freedom of worship returns to Joseph’s Tomb,” IDF Spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said in a statement Friday morning.
BREAKING PHOTOS: Serious clashes between Arabs and Israeli forces near Joseph's Tomb in Nablus. http://t.co/8StmAYUsgJ
— אזעקת חירום צבע אדום (@alarms8) October 15, 2015
— Gal Berger גל ברגר (@galberger) October 16, 2015
Israel has bolstered its troop presence in Jerusalem and the West Bank in the wake of the violence. As in previous weeks, only women, of all ages, and men over the age of 40 will be allowed to enter the flashpoint Temple Mount for Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque.