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Group vows return to Joseph’s Tomb after shooting

Members of the Bratslav Hasidic sect say they will return to a disputed West Bank shrine, a day after a convoy of Jewish Israeli pilgrims came under fire while trying to reach the Nablus site.

Joseph’s Tomb, revered by some as the final resting place of the biblical Joseph, has been vandalized by local Palestinians twice in recent days, amid rising tensions over a series of terror attacks in Israel and an IDF crackdown in the northern West Bank.

“We’re going back tonight,” one person who had been in the convoy tells the Walla news site.

“Everyone known we are just going to pray at the tomb and leave. Tonight we’ll go in too,” adds the man, who complains about a lack of freedom of worship for Jews trying to visit the shrine.

He says the group had brought paint and other materials to clean up after vandals damaged the site the night before, but the last car in their convoy was shot at by individuals in a Palestinian police vehicle. Two people were lightly to moderately wounded.

Trips to the shrine normally take place once a month under close military supervision. The group had not coordinated the visit on Sunday night, and it’s unclear if any attempt to reach the site tonight is being coordinated with the IDF.

A military spokesperson tells The Times of Israel they do not have any information on the plans to return to Nablus.

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