As tensions between Israelis and Palestinians continue to escalate, the Palestinians have destroyed a Jewish holy site located in the West Bank City of Nablus.
Palestinian rioters torched the holy site known as Joseph’s Tomb. Jewish people regularly visit the site to pray under the protection of the Israeli military.
The tomb was badly damaged in the attack, which came just hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanded Palestinians to stop their attacks.
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas was disappointed in his followers for committing the act, and he has said that the site would be repaired. He stated that the illegal attack was an offense to the religion, culture and values of his people.
Meanwhile, in a separate area of the West Bank, an Israeli soldier was stabbed and wounded by a Palestinian that was disguised as a news photographer.
Violence between the two groups has grown considerably after several incidents of stabbing took place earlier this month.
So far in the unrest, at least seven Israelis and at least 30 Palestinians have been killed.
Joseph’s Tomb is treasured by Jews and Muslims for supposedly being the burial location of Joseph, a prominent biblical figure who is said to be the son of Jacob. It is located in the city of Nablus, which has been under the control of the Palestinians since 1995. The tomb was previously attacked by Palestinian rioters in 2000.
The incident took place at night, as dozens of Palestinians attacked the tomb with petrol bombs. The crowed was broken-up by Palestinian police forces, while firefighters worked to combat the fire.
Military spokesperson Lt. Colonel Peter Lerner said, “(The attack is) a blatant violation of the basic value of freedom of worship. (Israel will) bring perpetrators to justice and restore the site.”
Meanwhile, Israel is stepping up its security efforts in order to prevent attacks by the Palestinians from taking place. Officials have set up roadblocks in the Palestinian areas of east Jerusalem. Extra troops will also be deployed in the area.
The United Nations Security Council is planning to hold an emergency meeting to discuss the increase of violence in the region.
United States Secretary of State John Kerry also plans to travel to the region sometime in the next few days in order to meet with leaders.