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Israeli soldiers, settlers raid Palestinian town to perform religious rituals

Feb. 22, 2018 2:53 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 26, 2018 1:39 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces stormed the northern occupied West Bank village of Kifl Haris on Wednesday night in order to escort a group of Jewish settlers to the village as they visited three religious sites in the area.

Locals told Ma’an that Israeli forces escorted the settlers into the town, fired stun grenades, prevented Palestinian residents from leaving their homes, and erected flying checkpoints throughout the town.

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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