Abbas orders probe into Jewish shrine arson

Nablus, Oct 16 (IANS) Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas ordered an immediate investigation on Friday after Palestinians torched a holy site revered by Jews in Nablus, north of the West Bank.

Palestine’s official Wafa news agency said Abbas considered burning the site an “irresponsible and condemned act”, and there is a need to immediately start fixing damages.

The president totally condemned burning the site, adding that these “unlawful acts harm our culture, religion and morals.”

Abbas demanded responsible parties to quickly complete renovating the site and immediately submit the investigation report.

Dozens of protesters earlier broke into the “Joseph Tomb” shrine, destroyed its interior and set it on fire.

The flames damaged parts of the place before Palestinian security forces put off the fire and dispersed the Palestinian men.

The Israeli public radio reported that the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Palestinian Territories Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordecai spoke with Palestinian officials about the incident.

Palestinian officials have condemned burning the shrine and vowed to restore it to the original state, according to the radio.

The Israeli army vowed to track down assailants and bring them to justice.

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