Between 200 and 300 Israeli settlers infiltrated Nablus and called for the Israeli military to re-establish control in the area after they broke free from the Israeli security forces accompanying them. The group was part of some 1,500 Israeli who were visiting nearby Joseph’s Tomb.Fifty of the same group barricaded themselves into the religious site and refused to leave. The group stayed into dawn and clashed with Israeli military forces that tried to remove them. One military driver sustained injuries during the clashes.
The PA is to bring legal proceedings due to property damage caused by the settlers during the incident.
The incident happened during a visit by 1,500 Israelis to Joseph’s Tomb on Sunday night under protection from the Israeli military. The Huwwara checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah was closed by the Israeli military to Palestinian drivers and flying road blocks were established to allow for the visit.
Nablus residents told Maan news agency that around 50 Israeli military vehicles were used in transferring the settlers to and from the site between 1am and 5 am.
All such visits should be agreed with the PA in advance according to the Oslo accords which established PA civic and security control of Ramallah and Nablus. The visit had not been coordinated with the PA according to PA spokespeople
Israeli military sources have denounced the settler’s behaviour as irresponsible and that those detained would be prosecuted, according to JPost.
The larger demand for Israelis to pray at the site is related to the shooting last month of an Israeli by a Palestinian policeman at the site. The Israeli military concluded that the man’s death was intentional with the intent to hurt Israeli worshipers.
The individual had not coordinated with the Israeli military or the PA to visit the area.
The Israeli military cancelled a planned uncoordinated visit to the area to protest the shooting of the individual due to calls from Palestinians to protest against the incursion.