Palestinian man shot in foot during clash with troops near Nablus
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Palestinian man shot in foot during clash with troops near Nablus

Fighting comes as some 1,500 visit Joseph’s Tomb under heavy guard in West Bank city

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Israeli soldiers seen guarding Jewish men praying in the compound of Joseph's Tomb in the West Bank city of Nablus on June 10, 2013. (Yaakov naumi / Flash90)
Israeli soldiers seen guarding Jewish men praying in the compound of Joseph's Tomb in the West Bank city of Nablus on June 10, 2013. (Yaakov naumi / Flash90)

Israeli security forces shot a man on Monday morning during clashes that erupted as some 1,500 Jewish worshipers visited a shrine in the West Bank city of Nablus, Palestinian media reported.

Rioters burned tires and threw Molotov cocktails and rocks at security forces protecting the pilgrims, whose monthly visits to the site believed to be the tomb of the biblical Joseph, one of the sons of the Patriarch Jacob, are often accompanied by disturbances, according to the reports.

The clash occurred near the Balata refugee camp on the outskirts of Nablus.

According to the Ma’an Palestinian news agency, Mahdi Dweiket, 20, was shot in the foot and taken to a local hospital.

Several others suffered from the effects of tear gas canisters fired by IDF soldiers during the riot.

The IDF spokesperson said the army knew of one man lightly injured.

“Forces identified a Palestinian hurling a firebomb and in response to the threat fired toward him,” the IDF said in a statement. “The Palestinian was lightly injured and evacuated to a hospital for medical treatment.”

Nablus, which is located within the Palestinian Authority-controlled territory of the West Bank known as Area A, is off-limits to Israeli civilians.

In order to visit the shrine, located on the east side of the city near the Balata refugee camp, Jewish worshipers are escorted under heavy guard by the Israel Defense Forces in organized trips conducted each month.

The visits are often met by rock-throwing and other low-level violence, though fierce clashes have broken out around the pilgrimages as well.

Last month, troops escorted some 800 worshipers to Joseph’s Tomb.

As with nearly every visit, local residents threw rocks at the soldiers guarding the religious Jews before the troops repelled the rioters with nonlethal means. There were no reports of serious injuries or damage on either side.

Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.

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