Arab vandals removed a mezuzah from the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hevron on Friday, while the holy site was used by local Muslims for Ramadan prayers.
The mezuzah, which adorned the main door of the Tomb, is believed to have been desecrated by the vandals.
A storage shed used by the Tomb’s maintenance staff was also broken into, with thousands of shekels worth of equipment stolen.
A spokesman for the Hevron Jewish community, Noam Arnon, responded to the theft and likely desecration of the mezuzah, calling on police to offer a substantive response to the incident.
“The Committee of Hevron demands that the [special access given to] Muslims for the [Ramadan] holiday be cancelled in the Tomb of the Patriarchs until the mezuzah is returned, and that severe measures be taken against the thieving terrorists. We cannot have Arab vandals taking advantage of a holiday during which the State of Israel gives them exclusive access to the first Jewish holy site in order to commit crimes against Jewish holy objects.”
The Tomb of the Patriarchs is located within the divided city of Hevron, is under split control of the Israeli Rabbinate and Islamic Waqf. Most of the building is used for Islamic prayer services, with Jews given regular access to one of the three halls. During their respective holidays, Jewish and Islamic worshippers are given access to the entirety of the structure.