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Joseph’s Tomb Repaired After Firebombing

Joseph’s Tomb, which was firebombed and vandalized two weeks ago, was repaired in a nighttime operation near the West Bank city of Nablus.

The site was cleaned and painted, the grave marker was restored and the marble covering of the tomb was replaced, according to reports.

The workers who arrived at the site late on Monday night included painters, metalworkers, electricians, gardeners and stoneworkers, who were guarded by Israeli soldiers.

The repairs, which took about five hours, were initiated by Samaria regional council head Yossi Dagan, Israel National News reported on Tuesday.

Dagan called the torching of the site a “national disgrace,” and criticized the decision to do the work in the middle of the night. “Our coming here in the dead of night, like thieves, to a place that is unquestionably ours. It’s a difficult feeling,” he said, according to the Times of Israel.

The tomb was set on fire by Palestinian rioters early on Oct. 16. The riot occurred shortly after Hamas leaders in Gaza called for “a day of rage” on Friday against Israel — a term that is often used to describe shooting or the hurling of stones and firebombs at Israelis at various locales in Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Under the 1993 Oslo Accords, the site was to remain under Israeli control. The IDF evacuated the premises in October 2000 during the second intifada and it was burnt down by Palestinians.

Jewish worshippers in coordination with the IDF make monthly nocturnal pilgrimages to the site, which has been renovated and restored. But haredi Orthodox worshippers sometimes make illegal visits to the site, which is believed to be the burial place of the biblical patriarch.

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