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Israeli soldiers escort hundreds of settlers into Nablus to perform religious rituals

April 5, 2018 11:48 A.M. (Updated: April 6, 2018 4:04 P.M.)
Settlers at Joseph's Tomb (File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) --Israeli forces stormed the northern occupied West Bank city of Nablus before dawn on Thursday in order to escort a group of Jewish settlers as they visited Joseph’s Tomb to perform religious rituals.

Official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency reported that hundreds of settlers arrived in Nablus under heavy military protection, sparking clashes with local Palestinian youth who threw stones at the armed soldiers.

“Busloads of fanatic settlers forced their way into the site at dawn to perform Jewish religious rituals there as Israeli forces secured the road and location for them,” Wafa said.

No injuries were reported in the confrontations.

Joseph's Tomb is revered by Jews, Muslims, Christians, and Samaritans alike. The Israeli military allows Jews to visit as part of organized pilgrimages, despite the site being located in Area A where the PA has full control, and prohibits Muslims from worshiping at the site.

Ultra-orthodox and nationalist Jews regularly try to visit the shrine without approval, as many Jews believe the tomb to be the final resting place of the biblical figure in the Old Testament.

Palestinians believe that Joseph's Tomb is the funerary monument to Sheikh Yousif Dweikat, a local religious figure.

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