Israeli troops joined members of the Samaria Regional Council on Wednesday for protection as they entered the holy site of Joseph's Tomb in order to repair it.
The shrine, located near Nablus, in the Palestinian Authority-controlled area of the West Bank, was targeted by Palestinian rioters earlier this week and suffered extensive damage.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett posted a picture of the renovated site, saying: “They are destroying – we are building. No one will be able to erase our heritage in our country.”
A picture that has circulated on social media showed an Israeli soldier praying on the tomb, laying his hand on the repaired stones that were broken just a few days ago.
Israeli Defense Forces officer prays at renovated the Tomb of Joseph after it was torched and broken by Palestinian terrorists. Am Yisrael Chai 🇮🇱 pic.twitter.com/r94yOQ2sTp— Hananya Naftali (@HananyaNaftali) April 13, 2022
The head of the Samaria Regional Council, Yossi Dagan, called it a “historic day” that restores “the national honor of the State of Israel.”
“We arrived here early this morning and are working to restore the honor of Joseph the Righteous and of the people of Israel,” Dagan said. “The IDF and Israeli security forces have my full support and appreciation.”
The renovations included repairs to the stone grave marker, repainting the walls of the tomb complex, removal of debris left by the Arab rioters, and repairs to the windows and water system.
After the construction team departed the compound, clashes broke out between Israeli security forces and local Palestinians. The Palestinian Authority's health ministry said that 31 were wounded and one person later died from his wounds.
On Sunday night, two Israeli Hasidic Jews were shot and wounded when they tried to reach the compound.
Tal Heinrich is a senior correspondent for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS. She is currently based in New York City. Tal also provides reports and analysis for Israeli Hebrew media Channel 14 News.