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Israeli settlers raid Salfit-area Palestinian village to pray at shrines

July 28, 2016 4:00 P.M. (Updated: July 28, 2016 5:29 P.M.)
Israeli settlers in the illegal outpost of Esh Kodesh near the West Bank village of Turmusayya, on March 5, 2008. (File)
SALFIT (Ma’an) -- A group of Israeli settlers stormed the Palestinian village of Kifl Haris in the central occupied West Bank district of Salfit to pray at shrines on Wednesday evening, locals said.

Eyewitnesses told Ma’an that a group of extremist settlers escorted by Israeli forces entered Kifl Haris and performed prayers at the shrines.

A number of tombs exist in Kifl Haris, which Palestinians in the area believe to be the graves of Muslim prophet Dhul-Kifl, the Sufi saint Dhul-Nun, and another shrine built by 12-century Sultan Saladin.

However, some Jews believe the tombs belong to the biblical figures Joshua, Caleb and Nun.

Like many other Palestinian towns across the West Bank with religiously significant sites, Kifl Haris, situated on the main road connecting the illegal Ariel settlement to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, commonly experiences incursions by Israeli settlers accompanied by armed escorts.

Settlers who visit the tombs to pray often actively disrupt Palestinian residents and damage property.

Meanwhile, Palestinians are restricted from visiting holy sites in Israel without hard-to-obtain permits from Israeli authorities.
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