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Israeli settlers storm Joseph's Tomb to perform religious rituals

Aug. 2, 2018 12:29 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 2, 2018 2:33 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- A large number of Israeli forces stormed the northern occupied West Bank city of Nablus on Thursday dawn escorting a group of Israeli settlers as they visited Joseph's Tomb to perform religious rituals.

Locals said that several buses carrying right-wing Israeli settlers stormed Joseph's Tomb, where they performed Jewish religious rituals under heavy Israeli military protection.

Sources added that violent clashes broke out afterwards between Palestinians and Israeli forces in the area.

Israeli forces fired live ammunition, gas bombs, and sound bombs at Palestinians, who responded with stone throwing.

Sources confirmed that Israeli forces shot and injured a 30-year-old Palestinian with a rubber coated steel bullet in his lower body; his identity was not immediately identified.

Several Palestinians also suffered tear-gas suffocation but immediately received first aid at the scene.

Israeli settlers repeatedly attempt to break into the holy site of Joseph's Tomb, located in a Palestinian populated area in Nablus, triggering violent confrontations with local residents.

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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