Palestinian teenager killed when gunmen attack Joseph’s tomb in Nablus during MK pilgrimage

Palestinian teenager killed when gunmen attack Joseph’s tomb in Nablus during MK pilgrimage

Palestinian teenager killed when gunmen attack Joseph’s tomb in Nablus during MK pilgrimage

Palestinian militants opened fire on Jewish worshippers, including current and prospective lawmakers, who visited Joseph’s tomb on the outskirts of the West Bank city of Nablus early Wednesday.

According to military and Palestinian reports, Israeli troops returned fire at the gunmen.

As a result of the collision, a Palestinian teenager was killed, apparently due to an explosive device he was holding exploding prematurely.

According to the Ministry of Health of the Palestinian Authority, 15-year-old Mahdi Hashash died after being seriously injured by shrapnel, not a gunshot.

The Israel Defense Forces said troops opened fire on the teenager when he planted an explosive device in the area.

Hashashi was claimed by the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a terrorist group loosely linked to PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party, as a member.

A group of armed Palestinians in the nearby Balata refugee camp issued threats on social media on Tuesday, warning that its members would attack any Israelis who entered the tomb.

Joseph’s Tomb is located in Area A in the West Bank, which is officially under full PA control, although the Israeli military is active there. The IDF prohibits Israeli citizens from entering Area A without prior authorization.

Palestinian teenager killed when gunmen attack Joseph’s tomb in Nablus during MK pilgrimage

Palestinian militants from the so-called Balata Brigade rally in the Balata refugee camp near the West Bank city of Nablus on November 4, 2022. (Zain JAAFAR/AFP)

Joseph’s Tomb is revered by some as the final resting place of the biblical Joseph. Visits by Orthodox Israelis to Joseph’s Tomb occur on a monthly basis, if not more often, and almost always lead to violent clashes with Palestinian locals as the IDF enters Nablus in advance to secure the area for the arrival of hardline pilgrims.

Wednesday’s visit was attended by eight current and future lawmakers, including Likud MPs Idit Silman, Boaz Bismuth, Amichai Chikli and Nissim Vaturi; Shas MK Yoni Mashriki; Otzma Yehudit MKs Almog Cohen and Limor Son Har Melech; and Religious Zionism MK Ohad Tal.

Samaria District Council Chairman Yossi Dagan, who was also on the visit, said he expected the new government, expected to be the most right-wing ever, to “crack down on settlers” and build settlements in the West Bank.

The Israel Defense Forces said a military drone crashed in Nablus while escorting worshipers to a mausoleum. The military said no sensitive information was lost in the accident and there was no risk of intelligence being obtained from the device.

The IDF, meanwhile, continued its counter-terrorism offensive in the West Bank.

Troops arrested 12 wanted Palestinians and seized several firearms during arrests in the West Bank early Wednesday morning.

During the arrest of a terror suspect in the village of Nabi Saleh, the IDF said troops fired at Palestinians, throwing rocks and firecrackers at them. The Ministry of Health reported that one person was injured.

Weapons seized by Israeli forces during raids in the West Bank, early November 9, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

The IDF operation netted more than 2,000 arrests in almost nightly raids, but also killed more than 125 Palestinians, many, but not all, in attacks or clashes with security forces.

The anti-terrorist offensive in the West Bank began after a series of Palestinian attacks in the spring of this year, which killed 19 people.

An Israeli woman was killed in an attack in Hebron last month, a woman was killed in a suspected attack in Holon in September, and four soldiers were killed in attacks and arrests in the West Bank.

A man on Tuesday died of his wounds during a stabbing in a Palestinian village in October.

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