Palestinian Protesters Set Fire to West Bank Jewish Shrine

from The Wall Street Journal,

Palestinian security forces in Nablus extinguish the blaze, disperse protesters.

Dozens of Palestinians set fire to a Jewish shrine in the West Bank city of Nablus on Friday, as Israeli security forces imposed tough restrictions in Jerusalem to prevent fresh violence from breaking out around the sensitive holy site at the heart of unrest. The attack came as the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, called for “day of rage” anti-Israeli protests in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem and reiterated its call for a third Palestinian intifada, or uprising. The target of Palestinian protesters in Nablus was the site revered by some Jews as the tomb of the biblical patriarch Joseph. Palestinian security forces dispersed the crowd and extinguished the blaze. The extent of damage to the shrine wasn’t immediately known. Israeli military spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner accused the Palestinian attackers of desecrating the tomb, calling it a “blatant violation and contradiction of the basic value of freedom of worship.” He said the Israeli military would fix the damage and ensure freedom of worship return to the site. Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority and head of the Fatah political faction, a rival of Hamas, condemned the arson attack and ordered repairs to the shrine and an investigation into the incident.

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