IDF soldier injured in skirmish near Joseph’s Tomb

Palestinians throw rocks, Molotov cocktails at Israeli forces at shrine outside Nablus

File: Jews at prayer in Joseph's Tomb in the West Bank city of Nablus as IDF soldiers stand guard. (Abir Sultan/Flash90)
File: Jews at prayer in Joseph's Tomb in the West Bank city of Nablus as IDF soldiers stand guard. (Abir Sultan/Flash90)

An IDF soldier was wounded early Monday morning after his unit was attacked by rock-throwing Palestinians near the Tomb of Joseph outside the West Bank city of Nablus.

Dozens of Palestinians threw stones and Molotov cocktails, and rolled burning tires downhill at the soldiers, inflicting light to moderate injuries on the soldier.

The soldiers were guarding Jewish worshipers who came to pray at the tomb, believed to contain the remains of the biblical patriarch Joseph.

The soldier was taken to a hospital for treatment.

On Sunday, a spate of rock-throwing incidents targeting Israeli vehicles in the West Bank occurred, after a week of clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces in and around Jerusalem.

On Route 443 northwest of Jerusalem, Palestinians threw stones at passing motorists, damaging three cars.

Stones were also thrown at Israeli drivers on Route 60 near the Beit Anun intersection near Hebron, in the southern West Bank.

Egged bus No. 149 was pelted with rocks and paint between Hizma and Anatot north of Jerusalem, but no injuries or physical damage to the bus were reported.

The incidents are part of a recent spike in attacks, some of them deadly, against Israelis in the West Bank and Jerusalem. The cabinet on Sunday debated increasing the severity of judicial and law-enforcement responses to such attacks.

On Sunday, the Israel Police said it had arrested 39 Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem for “disturbing the peace,” “taking part in riots” and “throwing stones and Molotov cocktails.”

Israel has vowed to crack down on Palestinians hurling stones and firebombs in Jerusalem and across the West Bank after a week of violence in the capital and on the Temple Mount, which began last Sunday when police — acting on information from the Shin Bet security service — raided the compound and found pipe bombs and other improvised weapons, apparently prepared in advance for an organized riot.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has promised to seek harsher penalties and mandatory minimum sentences for those convicted of throwing rocks and firebombs, and fines for parents of minors found to have committed the acts.

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