Clashes as settlers visit Nablus tomb
Published Tuesday 24/09/2013 (updated) 27/09/2013 18:01
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Hundreds of Israeli settlers visited Joseph's Tomb in Nablus under armed guard overnight Monday.
Witnesses said over 500 settlers entered the city in buses escorted by Israeli military vehicles overnight and performed prayers in the tomb until 5 a.m.
Clashes broke out with local youths, who threw rocks and empty bottles at Israeli military vehicles. Israeli soldiers responded with tear gas canisters and stun grenades.
No injuries were reported.
Meanwhile, Israeli settlers in Nablus assaulted a Palestinian man on a main road near Huwwara, a PA official said.
Ghassan Daghlas, a PA official who monitors settler activities in the northern West Bank, told Ma'an that a group of settlers attacked Odai Dmeidi, 23, with pepper spray, requiring him to go to hospital for treatment.
Settlers in the Nablus district hurled rocks at Palestinian vehicles near the illegal settlements of Yizhar and Qedumim and along the main road between Ramallah and Nablus.
Under the 1993 Oslo Accords, the Joseph's Tomb was to remain under Israeli control. But the Israeli army evacuated the premises in October 2000 shortly after the start of the second intifada, or uprising, and it was immediately destroyed and burnt by the Palestinians.
The restoration of the tomb was completed recently, and following improved security cooperation with the Palestinian Authority, the army allows Jewish worshipers to make monthly nocturnal pilgrimages to the site.