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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 October 2018

Clashes in West Bank as Israelis visit holy site

Around 1,500 Jewish Israelis visited the Joseph's Tomb site near Nablus

Israeli settlers visit an archaeological area during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot in the Palestinian village of Sabastiya near the West Bank City of Nablus, 26 September 2018. EPA
Israeli settlers visit an archaeological area during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot in the Palestinian village of Sabastiya near the West Bank City of Nablus, 26 September 2018. EPA

Clashes broke out overnight as hundreds of Israelis visited a religious site in the occupied West Bank, the Israeli army and Palestinian sources said Thursday.

Around 1,500 Jewish Israelis visited the Joseph's Tomb site near Nablus in the northern West Bank late Wednesday, protected by Israeli soldiers, the army said.

"At the entrance of the city of Nablus a violent riot was instigated during which Palestinians hurled rocks and firebombs," a spokeswoman said.

She said the army had used "riot dispersal means" to break up the protest.

More than 20 Palestinians were injured, including two journalists, a Palestinian medical source said.

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An Israeli army bulldozer caught fire after Palestinians apparently threw Molotov cocktails at it, videos published by local media showed.

The army said no soldiers were injured.

The tomb is holy to Jews but is deep inside the West Bank, territory that is supposed to form a key part of a future Palestinian state.

It has been the scene of repeated clashes and was torched in October 2015 before being repaired later.

The Israeli army regularly carries out raids inside Nablus and other Palestinian cities.