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Israeli settlers raid Palestinian village to pray at holy site, spark clashes

Jan. 5, 2017 4:16 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 6, 2017 12:27 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli settlers Wednesday night entered into the Palestinian village of Kifl Haris in the northern occupied West Bank district of Salfit, sparking clashes with locals youth, according to Hebrew media.

Reports said that the settlers entered the village in their private cars, and went to pray at a Jewish holy site in the area.

The settler presence in the village sparked clashes with local youths, prompting Israeli army forces to raid the village. Hebrew media reported that Israeli forces detained the settlers and took them for interrogation over “violating Israeli military orders that bans Israelis from entering Palestinian districts.”

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed the incident to Ma’an, saying that overnight “several Israeli worshipers illegally entered Kifl Haris southwest of Nablus in order to visit the tomb of Joshua.”

“During the visit, suspects threw rocks at the worshipers. Israeli army forces arrived at the tomb and escorted the worshipers safely out of the village and then took them to Israeli police for questioning,” the spokesperson concluded.

Jewish Israeli settlers, whose numbers are estimated to be around 550,000 in the occupied West Bank, regularly raid Palestinian towns and cities, typically in coordination with Israeli armed forces, in order to pray at several Jewish holy sites across the occupied territory.

The provocative nature of the visits, which typically occur in the middle of the night under heavy military protection, often spark violent, sometimes deadly, clashes between local Palestinians and Israeli armed forces.

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