Dozens of Palestinians injured as Israeli settlers storm tomb of Joseph in Nablus

Dozens of Palestinians injured as Israeli settlers storm tomb of Joseph in Nablus
Israeli troops fired tear gas and bullets at Palestinians as settlers stormed the tomb of Joseph east of Nablus in the occupied West Bank
2 min read
17 May, 2023
Settlers regularly receive protection to pray at Joseph's tomb [Getty images]

Several Palestinians were injured by bullets and dozens suffocated by tear gas as Israeli forces cleared the way for settlers to visit the Tomb of Joseph, east of Nablus in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Local sources told The New Arab's sister site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that the Israeli troops occupied the residential areas around the tomb to "protect" the settlers, who were intent on praying at the tomb.

Snipers were positioned on the roofs of surrounding buildings, and began firing live rounds at local youths in the street, while tear gas flooded homes. 

The Tomb of Joseph, which is venerated by Muslims, Christians, Samaritans, and Jews, is the site of regular illegal incursions by Israeli settlers coming to pray at the site. 

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Several Palestinians were injured, one of whom is in a critical condition, according to Nablus Red Crescent director Ahmed Gibreel. 

More than 80 Palestinians were treated for tear gas-related injuries, he added.

The latest raid on Nablus came just days after Israeli forces killed 22-year-old Saleh Sabra, who was from the Asker refugee camp to the east of the city. 

The number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces since the beginning of 2023 has reached 151, said the Palestinian health ministry in a press release on Monday.

The figure is three times the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces during the same period last year.

According to the ministry, 33 of the Palestinians killed this year died in the latest Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip, which ended with a ceasefire on Sunday. 

Israel's West Bank incursions began in March 2022 and increased following the re-election of Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister of a far-right Israeli coalition government.

The Palestinian health ministry said the first quarter of 2023 has been the deadliest for Palestinians in 23 years.