J Street strongly condemns last night’s arson attack on Joseph’s Tomb. The Tomb is a sacred site for Jews and for all of the region’s major religions. In the current charged and dangerous climate in Israel and the West Bank, such an outrageous attack stokes fears and risks a further escalation of severe violence.
We note that Palestinian President Abbas has strongly condemned the attack, and that Palestinian Authority security forces reportedly acted to repel the attackers and are working actively to suppress further acts of terror by extremists and members of Hamas. Such efforts must continue and must be stepped up.
Groups from Israel’s far right, including a cabinet minister, are already calling for Israel to reoccupy the site. We urge the Israeli government to ignore irresponsible demands, and to act prudently and cautiously as it continues to work to restore security.