Rabbi Eliezer Berland sent out an audio message to his followers, instructing them to take paint and water and enter the site in Nablus late at night. Six were injured in clashes with Palestinians.


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It has been revealed that the group of Jews who snuck into Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus late Saturday night had been ordered to do so by Rabbi Eliezer Berland, a fugitive who is accused of sex crimes in Israel and has fled to New York.

About 30 ultra-Orthodox Jews entered the site overnight without obtaining security clearance as required. Local Palestinians soon began to clash with them and set their vehicle on fire. Six of the Hassidim were injured, and the IDF was forced to send in troops to extract them.

In an audio message sent out to his followers in Israel, Berland can be heard giving specific instructions to sneak into the site, which was partly set on fire by Palestinians in an arson attack on Friday. “Everyone should bring buckets full of paint and containers of water, get there at 2 a.m. on Saturday, mix the paint with the water and start painting,” Berland said. “Paint the tomb all over, take gloves and clothes and everything.”

Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas has officially condemned the arson attack, and promised that the PA would renovate the site.