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Hundreds of Israeli settlers raid Salfit-area village, assault Palestinian elderly man

June 29, 2018 1:23 P.M. (Updated: July 1, 2018 1:30 P.M.)
SALFIT (Ma'an) -- Hundreds of Israeli settlers stormed the village of Kifl Haris, in the northern occupied West Bank district of Salfit, to perform Jewish religious rituals under armed security by Israeli forces predawn Friday.

Locals told Ma'an that more than 30 Israeli military vehicles and troops raided the village and closed off its entrances. Israeli forces banned residents of the village from any movement in the streets and forcefully closed shops.

Sources added that several large buses entered the village carrying more than 800 Israeli settlers from the entrance to the center of the village.

Israeli settlers reportedly harassed residents of the town by continuously shouting anti-Arab slogans for three hours.

Israeli settlers were also seen assaulting an elderly man who attempted to open the old mosque to perform Fajr (dawn) prayers while the settlers were about to perform their religious rituals at Islamic sites in Kifl Haris.

The village of Kifl Haris is known for its four historic Islamic shrines, as a number of tombs exist in Kifl Haris that are believed to be the graves of local holy people but which some Jewish worshipers believe to be the tombs of biblical figures Joshua, Caleb, and Nun.

Residents of the area, however, consider these shrines to be the graves of the prophet Dhul-Kifl, the Sufi saint Dhul-Nun, and another shrine built by 12-century Sultan Saladin.

Visits by Israeli Jews to the sites in the areas under Palestinian control across the West Bank and often cause tensions with locals, as these visits are accompanied by large armed escorts.

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