Twelve Palestinians were reported injured Monday night during clashes with Israeli security forces, as around 1,200 Jewish worshipers entered the religious site of Joseph’s Tomb, outside the West Bank city of Nablus.
Joseph’s Tomb is located inside Area A of the West Bank, which is officially under complete Palestinian Authority control, though the Israeli military conducts activities there. The IDF bars Israeli citizens from entering Area A without prior authorization.
The site is venerated by Jews, Christians and Muslims, and has often been a flashpoint for sectarian violence. Jewish pilgrims are usually only allowed to visit the tomb once a month under heavy armed guard. During these visits, Palestinians routinely throw rocks at the troops, and sometimes attack them with Molotov cocktails and gunfire.
The military said as preparations were being made for worshipers’ arrival, troops found a pipe bomb in the tomb compound, and detonated it in a controlled manner.
It also said that as worshipers visited rioters burned tires and hurled rocks at the soldiers, who responded with non-lethal means to break up the protests.
Also in the West Bank Monday night, IDF troops arrested 15 Palestinians wanted for suspected involvement in rioting and terror activities, and took them in for questioning.