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Hundreds of Israelis visit West Bank tomb under armed guard

Feb. 27, 2015 10:52 A.M. (Updated: March 2, 2015 12:45 P.M.)
SALFIT (Ma'an) -- Hundreds of religious Israelis visited the Tomb of Joshua in the West Bank village of Kifl Haris near Salfit at dawn on Friday, the local council said.

Around 30 Israeli military vehicles raided the town, closed all of the entrances, and forced all stores to close as hundreds of Israelis visited a tomb located in the Salfit-area village.

Buses took the Jewish worshipers to Joshua's Tomb in the center of the town, where they stayed for three hours.

A number of tombs exist in Kifl Haris that are believed to be the graves of local holy people but which some Jews believe to be the tombs of biblical figures Joshua, Caleb, and Nun.

Palestinians who live in 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 Saladin.

Visits by Israeli Jews to sites in areas under Palestinian control across the West Bank 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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