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PA forces 'arrest 5 settlers in Nablus'
Published Friday 27/01/2012 (updated) 28/01/2012 12:33
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A general view of Joseph's Tomb in the West Bank City of Nablus.
(MaanImages/Rami Swidan, File)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Palestinian Authority security forces detained five Israeli settlers in the northern West Bank in the early hours of Friday morning, officials said.

The settlers, who hold US passports, tried to enter Joseph's Tomb, the site where some believe the biblical figure Joseph was buried, Palestinian officials told Ma'an.

They were questioned and handed over to Israeli liaison officials, local officials said, adding that the visitors were unarmed. An Israeli police spokesman did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

The tomb, near Balata refugee camp, is in an area under PA control but the settlers had not coordinated the visit with PA security forces.

The Israeli army provides regular escorted visits to the religious site, coordinated with PA security forces, but extremist settlers have challenged any restrictions on their access to the tomb, located inside Nablus city.

Earlier this month, an Israeli court charged four men with making unauthorized visits to the tomb. They had made several trips to the site in 2008, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported.

It was the first case pursued by the courts for unauthorized entry to Nablus.
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1 ) sarah / holland
27/01/2012 15:17
I don't understand this. So when Israel arrest Palestinians, they go to an Israeli prison and if the Palestinians arrest an Israeli they don't go to a Palestinian prison? Is it illegal to arrest terrorist settlers? Even American settlers know they can't just go to the tomb.

2 ) hakim abu fayyed / bethlehem,palestine
27/01/2012 17:56
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the damn p.a. security forces treat the settlers so well,and hand themover to be freed by their own police.. why do they treat the palestinians in their own districts like the occupation themselves.the p.a. security forces are a sham.traitors

3 ) Karen / Sweden
27/01/2012 23:20
I am so confused. Why should they be arrested just for visiting their holy site? They didn't cause trouble, they didn't desecrate the site, they didn't do violence. What is the crime? That they are Jewish in Nablus? This is horrible religious discrimination. Is this how palestine protects religious freedom!? I've also heard it is a death penalty offense to sell land to a Jew in palestine! I'm sorry. I want palestinians to be free, but not for this! This is just shameful and wrong!

4 ) Ella / Palestine
28/01/2012 12:02
Karen: I live in Nablus. Most Palestinians here have never been able to even once visit Jerusalem - the third most holiest site for Muslims in the world. They can only dream of the day when they will be able to pray at the dome of the rock. Whereas Jewish people have the right to visit Josephs tomb and other holy sites within PA control, simply by organising it with authorities beforehand. It's not hard to see where the real discrimination lies.

5 ) Jo?l / France
28/01/2012 15:42
Ella, You do not seem to know that the dome of the rock is not a mosque and no muslim is praying there. The mosque there is al Aqsa. Funny if you live in Nablus that you don't know that. Second, going to Al Aqsa is not at all forbidden, only sometimes, when riots are feared, young men are blocked.

6 ) carine / UK
28/01/2012 16:04
#3 No Karen, it's not because they're Jewish, so quit with the pathos. They can't visit the site without permission and the IDF as escorts (Israel's rules), so the Palestine security personnel have every right to arrest them. BTW - How do you know they weren't there to commit terrorist acts? It wouldn't be the first time....

7 ) Hilde / Norway/Palestine
28/01/2012 18:12
Joel has obviously never been in Palestine or spoken to anyone trying to get permit to go to al-Aqsa, the dome (where of course people pray, I mean, come on!!! How stupid and condescending can an ignorant pig be???) or the Haram al-Sharif. Claiming that only young men are occasionally blocked is of course a lie, as anyone would know if they had bothered to talk e.g. to teachers trying to organise a school trip for kids to the place.
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