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Report: Palestinians assist visit to flashpoint holy site

June 14, 2011 7:37 P.M. (Updated: June 16, 2011 9:12 A.M.)
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma'an) -- With assistance from the Palestinian Authority, eight right-wing members of Israel's parliament visited Joseph's Tomb in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday, Israeli media reported.

Hundreds of Palestinian officers were deployed on main Nablus traffic routes as the lawmakers entered the city on a guarded bus in the first visit during daylight hours since 2000, the Israeli news site Ynet reported.

"We came not only for historic reasons, but to make Arabs see that there is no place in the Land of Israel we cannot enter," Knesset member Arieh Eldad said, according to the report.

In May, Palestinian Authority police shot dead a Jewish settler caught sneaking into the tomb along with 30 others in an incident labeled "unwarranted" by Israel's chief of staff.

Also in May, soldiers escorted 1,600 settlers into the northern West Bank city to visit the shrine.

Under the Oslo accords, the city of Nablus is in the so-called Area A and is part of the 17 percent of the West Bank under Palestinian civil and security control.
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