Hundreds of Palestinian rioters attempted to set fire to the Joseph's Tomb compound in Nablus on Friday morning, according to reports by Israel radio.

The crowds were dispersed and the fire was brought under control by Palestinian police before IDF forces could arrive on the scene. 

The religious site suffered severe damage in the fire. There were no reports of injuries.



The IDF said that it will repair the site in order to allow worshipers to enter. Furthermore, the military's statement said that this incident is being viewed with the utmost severity, adding that it will work to identify and stop the arsonists.

Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman responded to the incident, saying "This arson shows that the Palestinian Authority's occupation is no different than that of Islamic State," he said. He said that Palestinians are being incited by the lies of PA president Mahmoud Abbas, killing Israelis with machetes and knives "and now burning holy and historical sites, just like Islamic State is doing in Iraq and Syria." (This week in 60 seconds: The ugly face of terror)

He said this act was inspired by the lies of Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas.


This incident came following a day of relative calm in Israel after several weeks of increased violence attacks across the country. On Thursday night Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to stop inciting Palestinians to attack Israelis with knives and axes, in a press conference given in Jerusalem.

“Abu Mazen [Abbas] is inciting murder,” Netanyahu charged as he called on the international community to stop excusing the Palestinian leader’s actions.

The violence is the direct result of false Palestinian charges that Israel is attempting to take over the Temple Mount and is executing Palestinians, Netanyahu said at the press event designed to present Israel's case to the world.

He spoke just one day after Abbas delivered a speech on both points and then claimed that Israel had killed Ahmed Manasra, 13. The young teen along with his 15-year old cousin had stabbed a 13-year old Israeli in Jerusalem’s Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood on Tuesday.

On Thursday Israel released photographs of the boy in pajamas with a bandaged on his head, recovering at Hadassah Medical Center.

“First of all he (Manasra) is not dead, he is alive. Second, he is not innocent. He tried to kill, murder – knife to death an innocent Israel youngster, 13 years old, riding his bike,” said Netanyahu.

“The only way we can fight this big lie all the other lies that are hurled at Israel and spread on Palestinian social networks is to tell the truth,” said Netanyahu.

He added that he expects the international community to condemn Palestinian incitement to murder.

Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.