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Description: >Roadblocks have been set up in Palestinian areas of East Jerusalem, where many of the attackers have come from, and hundreds of extra troops will be deployed on the streets on Sunday

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Palestinians torch Jewish holy site
« on: October 16, 2015, 07:01:21 PM »



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Palestinians torch Jewish holy site


Palestinians set fire to Joseph's Tomb Jewish holy site


    16 October 2015

  • From the section Middle East



                Joseph's Tomb on fire (16/10/15)Image copyright
                Israeli Military Spokesman

Image caption
                    Joseph's Tomb was badly damaged in the blaze


Palestinians have torched a Jewish holy site in the West Bank city of Nablus, amid soaring tensions with Israel.

Rioters set fire to a tomb which Jews revere as that of the biblical figure Joseph. Firefighters put out the blaze but the site was badly damaged.

It came hours after Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu called on the Palestinian leadership to stop a wave of attacks.

There have been near-daily stabbings by Palestinians of Israelis this month, as violence between the two sides spirals.

Seven Israelis have been killed and dozens wounded in stabbings and shootings. At least 30 Palestinians, including several of the attackers, have also been killed in the growing unrest.

The upsurge began last month when tensions at a flashpoint holy site in Jerusalem revered by Jews and Muslims boiled over amid rumours Israel planned to relax long-standing rules to increase Jewish rights at the complex. Israel has repeatedly denied such claims.

'Blatant violation'

In the night-time attack in Nablus, tens of Palestinians overran the tomb, attacking it with petrol bombs.

Palestinian police dispersed the crowd and firefighters extinguished the blaze before Israeli security forces arrived.


Israel's military spokesman Lt Col Peter Lerner said the attack was "a blatant violation of the basic value of freedom of worship".

He said Israel would "bring perpetrators to justice and restore the site".


                Image copyright

Image caption
                    Israel has set up roadblocks in East Jerusalem to try to stop further attacks


This is not the first time the tomb has come under attack. Palestinians tried to set fire to it again last year and virtually destroyed the site in 2000 after Israeli guards withdrew amid clashes.

It comes amid a major security operation by Israel to try to stop attacks on its citizens by Palestinians.

Roadblocks have been set up in Palestinian areas of East Jerusalem, where many of the attackers have come from, and hundreds of extra troops will be deployed on the streets on Sunday.

Hours before the attack in Nablus, Mr Netanyahu called on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to stop what he said was incitement to violence.

Mr Abbas has said Israeli occupation of Palestinian areas and "aggression" is to blame for the unrest.

Meanwhile the UN Security Council is to hold an emergency meeting on Friday to discuss the upsurge of violence.

The US Secretary of State John Kerry has said he planned to travel to the region in the next few days, amid reports that a meeting may take place in Jordan to include the Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

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