VIDEO: Joseph's Tomb Set Ablaze As Palestinian-Israeli Violence Escalates

Credits: Israel News Flash
Fire broke out overnight at the compound housing Joseph's tomb, a religious site venerated by Jews, the Israel Defence Forces said, on Friday. Joseph's tomb is in the West Bank city of Nablus in an area under the Palestinian Authority's jurisdiction.

Judaism considers the site to be the resting place of Joseph, Israelite patriarch and son of Jacob who, according to biblical accounts, was sold into slavery as a boy but then rose to become one of the most powerful figures in ancient Egypt, second only to the Pharaoh.

Jewish devotees at times go to the tomb under IDF escort at night to pray. Christians also consider Joseph's tomb a holy site.

Some Palestinians had started a barricade to prevent Israeli troops from entering Nablus to destroy Palestinian homes when a smaller group tried to set fire to the tomb, a Palestinian official told Cable News Network (CNN) under condition of anonymity.

Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas, condemned "these kind of acts or any other acts that violate the law and order and offends our culture, religion, and morals," according to the Palestinian official WAFA news agency. He formed a committee to investigate the fire.

The Israeli government has vowed to restore the tomb compound, which has been the site of previous attacks, and find whoever set it on fire. "IDF will bring perpetrators to justice, restore the site and ensure that freedom of worship returns to Josephs tomb," IDF spokesman, Peter Lerner, tweeted.

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