Israel to ask PA to repair Joseph's Tomb

PM to bring up issue in meeting with Fayad; Palestinian mob demolished holy site in 2000.

Josephs Tomb 224.88 (photo credit: IDF)
Josephs Tomb 224.88
(photo credit: IDF)
Israel will ask the Palestinian Authority to repair Joseph's Tomb in Nablus, it was announced Sunday. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that he had instructed Defense Minister Ehud Barak to act toward the reconstruction and restoration of the tomb and that the issue would be brought up in an upcoming meeting between Olmert and PA Prime Minister Salaam Fayad. Olmert made the announcement in a letter to a Samaria residents' committee that asked the prime minister to act on the issue in light of the poor conditions of the tomb and its compound. Olmert wrote that "Joseph the Righteous symbolizes coping with crises out of faith and the ability to turn every situation into a tool which enables us to progress." Near the start of the Second Intifada, in October 2000, seventeen Palestinians and one IDF soldier were killed in fighting around the tomb. On October 7, 2000 the IDF withdrew from the site leaving it in the hands of the Palestinians. Soon afterward, a turbulent mob of Palestinians assaulted the tomb, demolishing the millennial-old holy site in a matter of hours. The PA has since only made slight repairs to the site.