Palestinians set fire to Jewish shrine in West Bank: army

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Palestinians set fire to a Jewish shrine in the West Bank on Friday as the Islamist group Hamas called for a day of rage against Israel, and two weeks of turmoil in the region showed little signs of abating.

Israel's military said about 100 people rushed the tomb of the biblical patriarch Joseph, which is located in the Palestinian city of Nablus. They were pushed back by Palestinian security forces who arrived on site, but not before setting parts of it aflame.

"We view this incident with gravity and strongly condemn any attack on holy sites. We will find and arrest those who set the fire," the military said in a statement.

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The unrest that has engulfed Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank, the most serious in years, has claimed the lives of 32 Palestinians and seven Israelis.

The Palestinian dead include 10 knife-wielding assailants, police said, as well as children and protesters shot in violent demonstrations. The Israelis were killed on the street or buses in random attacks.

There was, however, a respite from the near-daily attacks on Thursday.

See Ultra Orthodox Jews making the pilgrimage to Joseph's tomb:

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Joseph's tomb, West Bank
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Palestinians set fire to Jewish shrine in West Bank: army
An ultra-Orthodox Jew prays on Mount Gerizim overlooking Joseph's Tomb, one of Judaism's holiest sites, in the West Bank city of Nablus on May 28, 2009. The men received a special permit from the Israeli army to celebrate in the restricted area ahead of the Jewish holiday of Shavuot which begins at sunset and marks the day Moses gave the Torah to the Jews after their exodus from Egypt. AFP PHOTO/Menahem KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
NABLUS, WEST BANK - JUNE 14: Jewish men are seen though the broken domed roof around the gravestone of Joseph, from the biblical book of Genesis, as they pray at his traditional tomb on June 14, 2010 in Nablus in the northern West Bank. Hundreds of right-wing and ultra-Orthodox Jews were bussed by the Israeli army into the Palestinian-controlled city in a heavily guarded overnight operation to pray at the holy Jewish site which was destroyed by Palestinians at the start of the second Intifada which began in 2000. (Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images)
Ultra Orthodox Jews pray at the tomb of Joseph, a biblical figure from the book of Genesis, in the northern Palestinian West Bank city of Nablus, 02 October 2007. Some 700 Hundreds of religious Jews were allowed by the Israeli army, in a heavily guarded operation, to pray at the tomb which was destroyed by Palestinian during the second Intifada which began in the year 2000. AFP PHOTO/MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
Ultra Orthodox Jews pray at the tomb of Joseph, a biblical figure from the book of Genesis, in the northern Palestinian West Bank city of Nablus, 10 December 2007. Some 600 religious Jews were allowed by the Israeli army to enter the Palestinian territory, in a heavily guarded operation, to pray at the Judaism holy tomb which was destroyed by Palestinians during the second Intifada which began in 2000. AFP PHOTO/MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
NABLUS, WEST BANK - JULY 04: (ISRAEL OUT) A Jewish worshipper pray inside Joseph's Tomb as hundreds of faithful mark the anniversary of the biblical Joseph's death, on July 4, 2011 in Nablus, West Bank. The IDF has ordered a limit to the number of people allowed into Nablus. However, Hilltop Youth have vowed to march on Tomb regardless of the order. (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)
NABLUS, WEST BANK - JULY 04: (ISRAEL OUT) Jewish worshippers pray outside Joseph's Tomb as hundreds of faithful mark the anniversary of the biblical Joseph's death, on July 4, 2011 in Nablus, West Bank. The IDF has ordered a limit to the number of people allowed into Nablus. However, Hilltop Youth have vowed to march on Tomb regardless of the order. (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)
NABLUS, WEST BANK - JULY 04: (ISRAEL OUT) Jewish worshippers pray outside Joseph's Tomb as hundreds of faithful mark the anniversary of the biblical Joseph's death, on July 4, 2011 in Nablus, West Bank. The IDF has ordered a limit to the number of people allowed into Nablus. However, Hilltop Youth have vowed to march on Tomb regardless of the order. (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)
NABLUS, WEST BANK - JULY 04: (ISRAEL OUT) Jewish worshippers pray outside Joseph's Tomb as hundreds of faithful mark the anniversary of the biblical Joseph's death, on July 4, 2011 in Nablus, West Bank. The IDF has ordered a limit to the number of people allowed into Nablus. However, Hilltop Youth have vowed to march on Tomb regardless of the order. (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)
TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY MICHAEL BLUM Orthodox Jewish men pray at the Tomb of Joseph, a biblical figure from the book of Genesis, in the northern Palestinian West Bank city of Nablus on June 14, 2010 after some 700 religious Jews were allowed by the Israeli army to enter the Palestinian territory, in a heavily guarded convoy, to pray at the shrine considered by many Jews to be the burial place of the biblical patriarch. AFP PHOTO/MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY RON BOUSSO Ultra Orthodox Jews and settlers pray at the tomb of the biblical patriarch Joseph in the Palestinian West Bank town of Nablus on April 4, 2008. Headlights pierce the misty night as the armoured bus packed with hardline Jews winds down the road from a hilltop settlement into the heart of Nablus. Their destination is the burial place of the biblical patriarch Joseph, a pilgrimage site that has become a grim symbol of the region's intractable conflict. The site was damaged by Palestinians shortly after the outbreak of the second intifada in September 2000. AFP PHOTO/Menahem Kahana (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
Orthodox Jewish women pray at the renovated Tomb of Joseph, a biblical figure from the book of Genesis, in the northern Palestinian West Bank city of Nablus, on November 4, 2010 as some 1000 religious Jews were allowed by the Israeli army to enter the Palestinian territory, in a heavily guarded convoy, to pray at the shrine considered by many Jews to be the burial place of the biblical patriarch. AFP PHOTO/MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
(FILES) A picture taken on November 4, 2010 shows Ultra Orthodox Jewish men rushing to pray at the renovated Tomb of Joseph, a biblical figure from the book of Genesis, in the northern Palestinian West Bank city of Nablus. Israeli Interior Minister Elie Yishai urged Israel to take control of Joseph's Tomb during a visit overnight on November 23, 2011 to the shriene located in Palestinian autonomous zone and considered by many Jews to be the burial place of the biblical patriarch. AFP PHOTO/MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
NABLUS, WEST BANK - JULY 04: (ISRAEL OUT) Jewish worshippers pray outside Joseph's Tomb as hundreds of faithful mark the anniversary of the biblical Joseph's death, on July 4, 2011 in Nablus, West Bank. The IDF has ordered a limit to the number of people allowed into Nablus. However, Hilltop Youth have vowed to march on Tomb regardless of the order. (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)
TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY PHILIPPE AGRET Jewish women and settlers pray at the Tomb of Joseph, a biblical figure from the book of Genesis, in the northern Palestinian West Bank city of Nablus, on February 16, 2012 as few hundreds religious Jews were allowed by the Israeli army to enter the Palestinian territory, in a heavily guarded convoy, to pray at the shrine. AFP PHOTO/MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
Protected by Palestinian security forces, members of Neturei Karta, a small faction of ultra-Orthodox Jews who oppose Israel's existence, hold Palestinian flags as they visit Joseph's Tomb, a biblical figure from the book of Genesis, in the northern Palestinian West Bank city of Nablus on September 21, 2011. AFP PHOTO / JAAFAR ASHTIYEH (Photo credit should read JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP/Getty Images)
A Palestinian worker prays during renovation work carried out by Palestinians in collaboration with the Israeli authotities at the Tomb of the biblical patriarch Joseph in the West Bank city of Nablus on October 3, 2010 after the holy Jewish site was damaged by Palestinian protesters in October of 2000 during the second intifada (uprising). AFP PHOTO/JAAFAR ASHTIYEH (Photo credit should read JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP/Getty Images)
A Palestinian worker fixes a wall during renovation work carried out by Palestinians in collaboration with the Israeli authotities at the Tomb of the biblical patriarch Joseph in the West Bank city of Nablus on October 3, 2010 after the holy Jewish site was damaged by Palestinian protesters in October of 2000 during the second intifada (uprising). AFP PHOTO/JAAFAR ASHTIYEH (Photo credit should read JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP/Getty Images)
An Ultra Orthodox Jew prays at the tomb of Joseph, a biblical figure from the book of Genesis, in the northern Palestinian West Bank city of Nablus on November 28, 2008, during an authorised visit. Hundreds of religious Jews were escorted by the Israeli army into the Palestinian territory, in a heavily guarded operation, to pray at the Jewish holy tomb which was destroyed by Palestinians during the second Intifada which began in 2000. AFP PHOTO/MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY MICHAEL BLUM Orthodox Jews pray at the Tomb of Joseph, a biblical figure from the book of Genesis, in the northern Palestinian West Bank city of Nablus on June 14, 2010 after some 700 religious Jews were allowed by the Israeli army to enter the Palestinian territory, in a heavily guarded convoy, to pray at the shrine considered by many Jews to be the burial place of the biblical patriarch. AFP PHOTO/MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY RON BOUSSO Ultra Orthodox Jewish settlers pray at the tomb of the biblical patriarch Joseph in the Palestinian West Bank town of Nablus on April 4, 2008. Headlights pierce the misty night as the armoured bus packed with hardline Jews winds down the road from a hilltop settlement into the heart of Nablus. Their destination is the burial place of the biblical patriarch Joseph, a pilgrimage site that has become a grim symbol of the region's intractable conflict. The site was damaged by Palestinians shortly after the outbreak of the second intifada in September 2000. AFP PHOTO/Menahem Kahana (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli soldiers guard outside the tomb of Joseph, a biblical figure from the book of Genesis as Ultra Orthodox Jews pray inside 10 December 2007 in the northern Palestinian West Bank city of Nablus. Some 600 religious Jews were allowed by the Israeli army to enter the Palestinian territory, in a heavily guarded operation, to pray at the Judaism holy tomb which was destroyed by Palestinians during the second Intifada which began in 2000. AFP PHOTO/MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
NABLUS, WEST BANK - JULY 04: (ISRAEL OUT) Jewish worshippers pray outside Joseph's Tomb as hundreds of faithful mark the anniversary of the biblical Joseph's death, on July 4, 2011 in Nablus, West Bank. The IDF has ordered a limit to the number of people allowed into Nablus. However, Hilltop Youth have vowed to march on Tomb regardless of the order. (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)
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The U.N. Security Council will hold a special meeting to discuss the situation. No resolution is planned for Friday, but there might be an attempt to get the council to issue a statement aimed at urging the two sides to curb the violence.

The unrest has been triggered in part by Palestinians' anger over what they see as increased Jewish encroachment on Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque compound, which is also revered by Jews as the location of two destroyed biblical Jewish temples.

Israel says it is keeping the status quo at the holy compound.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has said he plans to travel to the Middle East soon to try to calm the violence.

"A suggestion was raised that John Kerry and I and King Abdullah (of Jordan) and others would meet," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday.

"I have no problem with that, we did that a year ago, it was actually fruitful. It could happen again," he said, adding that he was willing to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

See how violence in the West Bank is escalating:

7 PHOTOS
Violence in Israel and the West Bank escalates
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Palestinians set fire to Jewish shrine in West Bank: army
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - OCTOBER 13: (ISRAEL OUT) In this handout from the Israeli GPO, Ultra Orthodox ZAKA volunteers and security forces attend the scene of an attack at a bus stop in Malchei Yisrael Street on October 13, 2013 in Jerusalem, Israel. Multiple terror attacks have occurred in Jerusalem and central Israel leaving at least three Israelis dead and many others injured, escalating a monthlong wave of violence between Israel and the Palestinians. (Photo by Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO via Getty Images)
Israeli Zaka volunteers carry a body following a shooting attack on a bus in an east Jerusalem Jewish settlement adjacent to the Palestinian neighbourhood of Jabal Mukaber on October 13, 2015. Two attackers opened fire on a bus while another assailant carried out a car and knife assault in Jerusalem, leaving two people dead and five wounded in two separate incidents, Israeli authorities said. AFP PHOTO / THOMAS COEX (Photo credit should read THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli Zaka volunteers carry the body of an Israeli victim following a Palestinian shooting attack on a bus in the east Jerusalem Jewish settlement of Armon Hanatsiv, adjacent to the Palestinian neighbourhood of Jabal Mukaber, on October 13, 2015. Two Palestinian attackers opened fire on a bus while another assailant carried out a car and knife assault in Jerusalem, leaving two people dead and five wounded in two separate incidents, Israeli authorities said. AFP PHOTO / GALI TIBBON (Photo credit should read GALI TIBBON/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli security forces inspect the scene after a Palestinian man drove into a bus stop and carried out a stabbing attack in a Jerusalem ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighbourhood on October 13, 2015. The Jerusalem attack came after a Palestinian stabbed and wounded a passerby north of Tel Aviv before being restrained by civilians in the area. AFP PHOTO / GIL COHEN-MAGEN (Photo credit should read GIL COHEN MAGEN/AFP/Getty Images)
A masked Palestinian hurls rocks towards Israeli soldiers during clashes following the funeral of Mohammed Fares al-Jaabari on October 10, 2015, in the center of the West Bank town of Hebron. Israeli security forces have arrested approximately 400 Palestinians since the October 1 outbreak of violence in the occupied West Bank and annexed east Jerusalem, the Palestinian Prisoner Club said. AFP PHOTO / HAZEM BADER (Photo credit should read HAZEM BADER/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli soldiers detain a wounded Palestinian stone thrower after infiltrated members of the Israeli security forces shot at fellow protesters during clashes in Beit El, on the outskirts of the West Bank city of Ramallah, on October 7, 2015. New violence rocked Israel and the Israeli-occupied West Bank, including a stabbing in annexed east Jerusalem, even as Israel and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas took steps to ease tensions. AFP PHOTO / ABBAS MOMANI (Photo credit should read ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images)
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