Israel

IDF Discovers, Safely Detonates Explosive Device Planted at Joseph’s Tomb

A bomb that was planted in a cell phone, apparently to be detonated remotely, was discovered at Joseph’s Tomb during a security sweep of the structure before an estimated 1,000 Jewish worshipers were slated to arrive, The Jerusalem Post reported Tuesday.

The tomb, which is located in Nablus, the site of the biblical city of Shechem, is located in Area A, under full control of the Palestinian Authority. The tomb is one of two holy sites in Area A that remains under Israeli control. Access to the tomb for worshipers is usually arranged with Israeli security forces.

Israeli security services safely detonated the bomb.

Protesters stoned the Israeli officers as they entered and exited the shrine, but no injuries were reported.

Over the years Joseph’s Tomb has been the target of vandalism, including arson, most recently in October 2015, when hundreds of rioters set fire to the shrine, before they were chased away by Palestinian Authority police. Though PA President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the 2015 attack as “actions that violate law and order, and which distort our culture, our morals and our religion,” the PA is required by the Oslo Accords to protect holy sites under its jurisdiction.

[Photo: עדירל / WikiCommons]