A historical site believed to be the tomb of biblical patriarch Joseph was torched by Palestinians during a riot on Friday.
Located in the West Bank city called Nabulus, the tomb has long been esteemed by Jewish people to be the tomb of Hebrew leader Joseph, and was even a prayer site for many Jews, according to the Associated Press. But dozens of Palestinians torched the site during a riot, nearly destroying the small stone building.
“The burning and desecration of Joseph’s tomb … is a blatant violation and contradiction of the basic value of freedom of worship,” Israel Defense Forces spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner told NBC News.
— Peter Lerner (@LTCPeterLerner) October 16, 2015
The flames have since been extinguished by security forces, while Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called the destruction “irresponsible,” according to the AP. Abbas reportedly plans to repair the severely burned building immediately.
Riots, however, are expected to continue, as some Palestinians called for another “day of rage,” NBC News reports. (RELATED: With Jews Under Siege, It’s Time To Debunk Liberal Narratives)
“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,” Lerner said.