Israeli security presence was high around Joseph's Tomb in Nablus, Friday, after unknown assailants torched the holy site, which was revered by both Jews and Muslims. The arson came as Palestinians called for a new wave of anti-Israeli protests under the slogan 'Friday of revolution.' Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas condemned the attack promising to run an investigation into the incident and making all repairs necessary. Located in the Palestinian refugee camp Balata, the shrine was under Palestinian control and could only be visited by Israelis with an IDF escort. Joseph's Tomb has been the scene of recurrent violence between Israelis and Palestinians throughout the conflict. Jews believe the site to be the last resting place of the biblical Joseph, while Muslims consider it the place where Islamic cleric Sheikh Yussuf was buried. Violence has escalated in recent week in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories as long-simmering tensions over the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem, and the continued construction of illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank, have come to a head. At least 30 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers since 1 October, and more than 1,700 injured, according to the latest figures from Palestinian medical sources. At least seven Israelis have been killed during the same period.
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