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Palestinian youth shot in the head by Israeli forces Friday succumbs to wounds

June 6, 2016 2:56 P.M. (Updated: June 6, 2016 10:33 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma’an) -- A Palestinian youth died on Monday after succumbing to critical wounds sustained after he was shot in the head by Israeli forces with live fire on Friday when clashes broke out at Joseph’s Tomb in the eastern outskirts of the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed in a statement that 20-year-old Jamal Muhammad Dweikat from Nablus died on Monday at an unnamed Israeli hospital.

Dweikat had been in a critical condition after he was shot with a live bullet to the head when clashes broke out between Israeli forces and local youth near Joseph's Tomb on Friday after a group of some 4,000 right-wing Israelis entered Nablus though the eastern side of the city escorted by Israeli forces, reportedly arriving after midnight and leaving at dawn Saturday morning.

At least 10 Palestinians were reportedly wounded in the clashes. In addition to live fire, Israeli forces reportedly also fired tear gas canisters and rubber-coated steel bullets at the protesters.

According to local Palestinian media, dozens of Israeli soldiers had cordoned off Joseph’s Tomb in preparation before several buses transporting the Israelis who entered the site and began praying and performing religious rituals.

Hebrew-language news sites said that a number of Knesset members from right-wing parties and illegal Israeli settlement leaders were among the visitors.

Israeli media added that the Nablus-area settlement council in cooperation with the municipality council of Bnei Brak near the Israeli city of Tel Aviv organized the visit.

Israeli forces have come under repeated criticism for excessive use force, as well as lethal methods of crowd control that often result in death or injury of protesters.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), at least 2,000 Palestinians have been injured by Israeli forces in the occupied Palestinian territory since the beginning of the year.

Israeli settlers frequently visit Joseph's Tomb under the protection of Israeli forces.

During the visits, Israeli forces regularly raid Palestinian villages in the area and fire tear gas canisters into the nearby Balata refugee camp.

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 shrine being located in Area A under full Palestinian Authority control, and prohibit Muslims from worshiping on 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 Yousef Dweikat, a local religious figure.
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