Palestinian rioters attacked 30 yeshiva students who illegally entered the West Bank city of Nablus in the predawn hours Sunday to repair the damage done to Joseph’s Tomb when it was torched by Palestinian arsonists two days earlier.
Video of masked rioters jumping on a car that belonged to the students was posted on YouTube; the rioters are seen eventually turning the car over and torching in the middle of a Nablus Street.
According to the Judea and Samaria Police, the group, which studied at the Shaare Hesed Yeshiva in Jerusalem, entered the city without coordinating their actions with the IDF.
Police said Palestinian Authority security forces stopped the group as they neared the tomb, drew their guns and beat the members of the group with batons and sticks.
Joseph's Tomb set ablaze by Palestinian rioters
Palestinian rioters arrived and also beat the group, many of whom managed to flee the city, the police said.
Palestinian security forces placed five members of the group in custody – two adults and three minors – all of whom eventually were handed over to the IDF, Judea and Samaria police said. All five sustained light injured, and were placed under house arrest for four days, the police said.
It is forbidden for Israelis to enter Area A of the West Bank, where Palestinian cities such as Nablus are located.
“We have warned the public several times and we are warning them once again: It is absolutely forbidden to enter these areas. It is a breach of security,” the police said.
“It was irresponsible for the student to enter the city. The incident could have ended very tragically, especially in these times,” the police added.
Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, the rabbi of the Western Wall and holy sites of Israel, condemned the yeshiva students’ illegal entry into Nablus.
“It an act of insanity that has no basis in Jewish Law,” he said. “They endangered their lives and had they been kidnapped, they would have endangered the lives of others,” Rabinowitz said.
“We have to denounce such activity to prevent it from happening in the future,” he added.
On Friday, Palestinian rioters set fire to Joseph’s Tomb, severely damaging sections of the compound.
Joseph’s Tomb is located near the Biblical city of Shechem. Under the terms of the Oslo Accord in the 1990s, Israelis had regular access to the Tomb, but for security reasons the IDF has forbidden regular Jewish worship at the site since the start of the Second Intifada in October 2000.
At present, worshipers can pray there once a month, when their entry is secured by the IDF in coordination with the Palestinian Authority, but Jewish worshipers have a long history of entering Nablus
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