NABLUS , West Bank, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- A group of Palestinians allegedly set the Nablus, West Bank, tomb of Joseph on fire Friday, severely damaging the Jewish holy site amid rioting.
Palestinian security forces put out the fire at the site Jews venerate as the resting site of the biblical patriarch Joseph, son of Jacob, and his two sons.
The Israel Defense Force also arrived to restore order and disperse the crowd, which number about 100.
The incident comes as tensions in Jerusalem and the West Bank between Israelis and Palestinians ratchets upward. There have been reports of stabbings nearly daily, and dozens of Israelis and Palestnians have been killed and injured in the past two weeks in isolated incidents across the area.
"The burning and desecration of Joseph's tomb last night is a blatant violation and contradiction of the basic value of freedom of worship," IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said in a statement. "The IDF will take all measures to bring the perpetrators of this despicable act to justice, restore the site to its previous condition and ensure that the freedom of worship returns to Joseph's Tomb,"
No injuries were reported in the incident, and no arrests were made.
Lerner repairs would be quickly made to the compound containing the tomb, which was nearly destroyed in 2000 by Palestinians protesters.