A group of Palestinians have allegedly vandalised a West Bank site holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims at the weekend, drawing ire from Israeli officials at a time of growing tensions in the region.
A video clip shared by the Times of Israel showed a group of up to 100 men rushing into Joseph’s Tomb – the site traditionally considered the final resting place of Joseph, a key figure in the texts of all three religions and a direct descendant of Abraham.
Israeli officials promised to repair the damages quickly. The tomb is in the Palestinian-controlled West Bank and Israelis may only visit it with special permission.
The incident, which left stones smashed and scorched, comes a week into the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and just ahead of the Jewish Passover.
Additionally, tensions have been building in Israel after a recent spate of attacks by Palestinians that has left at least 14 dead and prompted deadly Israeli responses in Palestinian areas.
“Attacking holy sites is attacking the heart of a people. The Palestinians who laid waste to Joseph’s Tomb seek to sow destruction and devastation during a holy festival,” read a tweet from Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid.
“This is serious damage not only to the tomb itself, but to the deeply-held [sic] feelings of the Jewish people.”