PA police extract 5 tourists mobbed after illegally entering Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus

One of five is lightly injured during visit to holy site after being hit by stones

View of the compound of Joseph's Tomb in the West Bank city of Nablus, April 10, 2022. (Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90)
View of the compound of Joseph's Tomb in the West Bank city of Nablus, April 10, 2022. (Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90)

Palestinian Authority police on Monday extracted five tourists who illegally entered Joseph’s Tomb in the West Bank city of Nablus, after they were attacked by an angry mob.

One of the group was lightly injured after being hit by stones hurled by Palestinians.

Initial media reports said the five were Israelis, but the military later clarified they were tourists. It was not immediately clear whether they were Jewish.

Busloads of Orthodox Jews visit Joseph’s Tomb under IDF protection on a monthly basis, and the pilgrimages almost always spark violent clashes with Palestinian locals.

The entrance of the group on Monday was not chaperoned by the military.

The IDF bars Israeli citizens from entering Palestinian cities without prior authorization and protection, and some criticize the monthly incursions as an unnecessary provocation that places Israeli soldiers at risk.

The shrine, regarded by some as the final resting place of the biblical patriarch Joseph, is located inside Area A of the West Bank, which is officially under complete Palestinian Authority control, though the Israeli military regularly enters, despite Palestinian opposition.

Head of the Samaria Regional Council Yossi Dagan, center, at the site of Joseph’s Tomb in the West Bank during a rare daytime operation to renovate the site, April 13, 2022. (Roee Chedi/Samaria Regional Council)

In August, four IDF soldiers were injured in Nablus by an explosive device during an organized visit to the tomb. In July, a Palestinian teen was killed during clashes at the site.

Violence has surged across the West Bank over the past year and a half, with a rise in Palestinian shooting attacks against Israeli civilians and troops, near-nightly arrest raids by the military, and an uptick in revenge attacks by extremist Jewish settlers against Palestinians.

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