"We saw a drawing of a Star of David with a boot stamping on it on one wall," said David Ha'ivri, a spokesman for Samaria Regional Council chairman Gershon Masika, who was one of the visitors.
"Putting your foot on something is the ultimate insult in the Arab world," added Ha'ivri. "It is sad that is the way they treat a holy site. But nobody was particularly surprised."
Ha'ivri said that in the past year, since Masika was elected head of the regional council, there had been regular monthly visits to the tomb coinciding with the new Jewish month.
"Every time, we bring white paint to cover up the graffiti," said Ha'ivri.
The tomb - which, according to the Oslo Accords, is under Israeli control - is surrounded by territory controlled by the Palestinian Authority.
This sort of treatment of Jewish religious sites by the Palestinians is hardly unique.
Nathan J. Diament, director of public policy at the Orthodox Union, issued a statement decrying the vandalism and calling on "all people of good will to join us in condemning such acts of desecration of holy sites."
"We also call upon all people of good will, especially those in positions of responsibility in the American, Israeli and other governments who, in their sincere desire to pursue a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, consider plans which would have Israel relinquish sovereignty over other Jewish holy sites - most notably in Jerusalem - to view this as not the first, but another warning that this is what happens when such holy sites are not secured by Israel," the statement said.
That, of course, is exactly the point, whether we're talking about the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, Jospeh's Tomb, or the illegal destruction of Jewish artifacts in illegal excavations by the Muslim wakf on the Temple Mount. Many Muslims, who demand inordinate respect for their own religion and traditions seem to have no respect or tolerance of anyone else's....which is why Israel will never give up a unified Jerusalem under Israel's control.