Vandals damage Joseph's Tomb in West Bank

April 23, 2009 at 1:45 PM

NABLUS, West Bank, April 23 (UPI) -- The tomb thought to hold the remains of the Biblical patriarch Joseph has been vandalized in the West Bank city of Nablus, an official says.

Gershon Mesika, head of the Shomron Regional Council, said he was among nearly 500 Jewish worshipers who found the religious site had been vandalized yet again, Ynetnews reported Thursday.

"Woe to the nation that allows its sacred places to be vandalized like this over and over again," Mesika said of Wednesday's discovery.

"Only barbarians could do such things. People who pathologically disgrace such a holy place don't deserve to be called human beings," he added.

The most recent incident of vandalism at Joseph's Tomb included swastika graffiti, multiple smashed headstones and graffiti of a Star of David under a bloody sword, Ynetnews said.

Haaretz said the site was previously defaced in 2001 by Palestinian rioters, but had been the focus of renovations since that incident.

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