Palestinians injured in Nablus clashes over Jewish pilgrimage


(JTA) — At least 21 Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israeli troops in Nablus, Palestinian media reported.

The clashes erupted early Friday following a visit by Israelis to Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus, Palestinian security officials told the Ma’an news agency.

Over 30 Israeli military jeeps entered the city late Thursday and soldiers took up positions on rooftops and around the tomb in preparation for a night visit by hundreds of Israelis for prayers, which ended at 3:30 a.m., according to the report.

The Israeli Arutz 7 reported that this year, close to 4,000 pilgrims came to the prayer marking the Counting of the Omer, a period of 49 days between the Jewish holidays of Passover and Shavuot.

Locals threw rocks and other objects at the soldiers, who fired back using crowd-dispersal means.

Twenty-one Palestinians sustained injuries to their lower extremities, locals said. The Ma’an report did not specify the severity of the injuries recorded.

Joseph’s Tomb is situated in Area A of the West Bank, which is under full Palestinian security control. Israeli troops maintain control of the holy site, which has been targeted in the past by Muslim rioters.

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