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Clashes as soldiers escort Israelis to Joseph's Tomb in Nablus

Sept. 17, 2014 11:43 A.M. (Updated: Sept. 18, 2014 10:18 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Hundreds of Israeli Jews visited Joseph's Tomb in Nablus in the occupied West Bank overnight under the guard of Israeli soldiers, locals told Ma'an Wednesday.

Witnesses said more than 30 military vehicles escorted eight buses carrying Israelis.

Palestinian protesters threw stones and Molotov cocktails at the military vehicles as they drove near Balata refugee camp and Askar camp, the sources said.

Israeli troops responded with tear gas and rubber-coated bullets.

Jewish groups frequently visit Joseph's Tomb under the protection of Israeli forces, who deploy heavily in the area and often get into clashes with youth from the neighboring Balata refugee camp during these visits.

Despite lying in an area under Palestinian authority deep in the West Bank, Israeli forces maintain control at the site and prohibit Muslims from praying there.

Many Palestinians believe that Joseph's Tomb is the funerary monument to Sheikh Yusef Dweikat, a local religious figure. Others believe that the tomb belongs to the Biblical patriarch Joseph. The area is sacred to Jews, Samaritans, Christians, and Muslims alike.
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