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Israeli settlers raid, pray in Joseph's Tomb in Nablus

April 21, 2015 5:32 P.M. (Updated: April 21, 2015 10:28 P.M.)
(MaanImages/File)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Hundreds of Israeli settlers performed prayers in Joseph's Tomb in eastern Nablus under armed protection early Tuesday.

Locals told Ma'an that Israeli forces escorted a number of buses carrying Israeli settlers to the tomb where they performed religious rituals.

Witnesses said that several Palestinians threw rocks and empty bottles at Israeli forces, who fired tear-gas canisters and stun grenades in response.

Locals added that Israeli settlers also smashed several Palestinian vehicles after throwing

rocks at them at the Huwwara checkpoint, saying that the group had carried out the attacks after performing prayers in Nablus.

No injuries or detention were reported in either incident.

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.

Despite lying in Area A under full Palestinian authority, Israeli forces maintain control at the site and prohibit Muslims from praying there.

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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