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Hundreds of settlers visit Nablus tomb

Nov. 14, 2012 10:10 A.M. (Updated: Nov. 14, 2012 8:44 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Hundreds of settlers visited Joseph's Tomb in Nablus overnight Tuesday, local sources told Ma'an.

Around 15 buses protected by Israel's military entered the tomb compound after midnight to perform religious rituals. The buses left at 6 a.m. on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces arrested three men from the nearby Balata refugee camp. Clashes with local youths broke out during the arrest operation.

Nidal Najwan al-Sheikh Khalil, 24, his brother Muhammad, 22, and Ahmad Naji Abu Hamadeh, 23, were named by locals as those detained.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said there were no reports of any arrests overnight.

Under the 1993 Oslo Accords, the site in Nablus was to remain under Israeli control. But the Israeli army evacuated the premises in October 2000 shortly after the start of the second intifada, or uprising, and it was immediately destroyed and burnt by the Palestinians.

The restoration of the tomb was completed recently, and following improved security cooperation with the Palestinian Authority, the army allows Jewish worshipers to make monthly nocturnal pilgrimages to the site.
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