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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 April 2019

Two Palestinians killed by Israeli army in West Bank clashes

The Israeli army regularly escorts groups of Jewish pilgrims to Joseph's Tomb, often sparking clashes

Israeli security stand guard during a search operation on March 19, 2019 in the Palestinian village of Kafr al-Dik. AFP
Israeli security stand guard during a search operation on March 19, 2019 in the Palestinian village of Kafr al-Dik. AFP

Two Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in clashes near a flashpoint religious site in the occupied West Bank overnight on Wednesday, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.

The ministry said Raid Hamdan, 21, and Zaid Nouri, 20, died after being shot late on Tuesday by Israeli troops near the Joseph's Tomb religious site close to the Palestinian city of Nablus.

The Israeli army said in a statement, explosives were hurled from a vehicle as Jewish worshippers visited the site on Tuesday.

"Troops responded with live fire towards the vehicle."

There were no reports of injuries on the Israeli side.

The site has long been a source of tension in the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

Jews believe the site contains the remains of the biblical patriarch Joseph, one of the 12 sons of Jacob.

Palestinian Muslims believe an Islamic cleric, Sheikh Yusser (Joseph) Dweikat, was buried there two centuries ago.

It is located near a Palestinian refugee camp in the West Bank, the territory occupied by Israel for more than 50 years.

The Israeli army regularly escorts groups of Jewish pilgrims to the site, often sparking clashes.

Updated: March 20, 2019 10:40 AM

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