Joseph's Tomb
Joseph's TombEhud Amiton/TPS

Two Hasidim were shot in Shechem (Nablus) overnight Sunday as they tried to approach Joseph’s Tomb, which was vandalized the night before. The two claimed they were making their way to the compound in order to repair the damage from the vandalism.

The two were shot in the knee and hand and are in moderate condition. They were treated at the scene and evacuated to Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva.

The IDF said that "the two arrived at an unmanned checkpoint at one of the entrances to Shechem, broke through it and entered the city. After a short time, they arrived at another checkpoint with gunshot wounds, the circumstances of the incident are under investigation."

Overnight Saturday, about a hundred Palestinian Arab rioters entered Joseph's Tomb, smashed the tombstone marking the grave of the Biblical figure, and set multiple fires at the site.

Arab rioters had previously caused extensive arson damage to the site in 2015, after which the Samaria Regional Council sent its own teams to restore and renovate the holy site.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz condemned the vandalism, saying, "The vandalism of Joseph’s Tomb is a grave event and a serious violation of freedom of worship in one of the holiest places for every Jew. It violates the feelings of the entire Jewish nation, especially when it occurs during the Muslim holy month."

"The State of Israel will take action to ensure that the site will be refurbished and quickly returned to its original condition. In addition, we will take all the measures necessary to prevent such incidents," he added.

"This morning, I have delivered a strong message to the Palestinian Authority, demanding the immediate reinforcement of their officials on-site, and decisive action against rioters and terrorists that harm stability and security in holy places," the Defense Minister concluded.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett also condemned the vandalism at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting.

"Palestinians vandalized Joseph's Tomb overnight. Dozens of Palestinian rioters in a frenzy of destruction simply vandalized a holy place for us, the Jews. They shattered the headstone over the tomb and set fire to rooms in the complex; I have seen the shocking pictures," he said.

"We will not tolerate such an attack on a place that is holy for us, on the eve of Passover, and will reach the rioters. Of course, we will see to the rebuilding of what has been destroyed, just as we always do," the Prime Minister concluded.