Vandals paint swastikas on walls of Jewish holy site

Jewish worshippers pray outside Joseph's Tomb on 4 July, in the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

Story highlights

  • It is unclear when the graffiti was sprayed on the walls of the tomb
  • Joseph's Tomb is in the northern West Bank city of Nablus
  • It is under Palestinian Authority rule
Worshippers who came to pray at Joseph's Tomb, a Jewish holy site in the northern West Bank city of Nablus, found swastikas and graffiti sprayed on the walls.
Israel Defense Forces tried to cover up the graffiti with white paint, a spokesman said.
It is unclear when the graffiti was sprayed on the walls. Joseph's Tomb is under Palestinian Authority rule and Jewish worshippers arrive every couple of months to pray at the holy site. The visit to the tomb is coordinated by the Israeli forces, who escorted the 1,300 people who came to pray overnight Wednesday.
The Israeli Civil Administration filed a complaint with the Palestinian Authority.
"Joseph's Tomb was abandoned exactly 11 years ago after Palestinians forcefully took over the place. According to the Oslo agreements, it should be under Israeli rule and this proves that freedom of religion and worship can only be achieved if Israel controls the tomb," said Dani Dayan, the Yesha Council chairman, an umbrella group for settlements.
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The discovery of the graffiti comes a few days after the burning of a mosque in the Israeli village of Tuba Zangariyye, which led to confrontations between residents and Israeli police.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli President Shimon Peres and the chief rabbis strongly condemned the attack in the village.