Prayers at Joseph's Tomb in Shechem
Prayers at Joseph's Tomb in Shechem Flash 90

Video has emerged showing an attack by Arab extremists on Joseph's Tomb in Shechem in Samaria (Shomron).

The attack reportedly occurred early Saturday morning, and involved arsonists hurling molotov cocktails at the Jewish holy site. Fortunately, no major damage was reported as the firebombs landed within the complex but did not ignite the wider area or spread into the tomb itself.

The incident was part of countrywide riots following the murder of Arab teen Mohammed Abu Khder, killed in a suspected revenge attack for the murder of three Jewish teens, Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Sha'ar and Naftali Frenkel.

Following the attack, Palestinian Authority security forces deployed near the tomb to prevent further violence, according to the PA's SPA news outlet.

Joseph's Tomb, named after the Biblical Jewish patriarch Joseph who is buried there, has been targeted by Palestinian Arabs in the past. Most notably, in 2000 hoards of rioters invaded the tomb - which housed a synagogue and a yeshiva - ransacked it and burned it to the ground, while parading Jewish holy books and desecrating them. Local Muslims later declared the site as a mosque.

Under previous agreements with Israel, the Palestinian Authority is required to protect Jewish holy sites under its control, and to allow secure access for Jewish worshippers.

But the recent deployment notwithstanding, the PA has been woefully uninterested in securing the site, with Jewish worshippers periodically attacked and the tomb vandalized repeatedly. In response, the Shomron Regional Council - which represents the Jewish communities of the region - along with several grassroots activist groups have led efforts to restore the tomb and coordinate regular Jewish worship there, with security provided by the IDF.

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