Two Israelis were wounded by gunfire while attempting to approach Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus/Shechem overnight Sunday, according to the Israeli military.

The victims, both haredi men, were taken to Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikva for treatment, and were in moderate condition.

The men had “arrived at an unmanned checkpoint at one of the entrances to Shechem, broke through it, and entered the city,” the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement. A short time later, they arrived at another checkpoint with gunshot wounds, the statement continued.

The men claimed they had been trying to reach the tomb to repair the damage caused by Palestinian rioters on Saturday. Some 100 rioters entered the site, smashing the tombstone and setting multiple fires.

While the circumstances of the incident  remain unclear, the IDF detained a senior Palestinian security forces official in the city following the shooting, according to Palestinian reports.

In a separate security incident in the Bethlehem area, Israeli security forces shot and killed a Palestinian who had been throwing firebombs at vehicles on Highway 60.

Joseph’s Tomb is a common target of Palestinian rioters. In September 2021, dozens of Palestinians attacked a convoy of buses carrying Jewish worshippers to the site. Two soldiers sustained minor injuries in the clash. In 2015, the tomb was torched by Palestinian rioters as tensions escalated amid near-daily terror attacks.

In October 2000, terrorists attacked the tomb, which had a small military presence, killing one Israeli soldier. That same month, Israel evacuated the complex in an attempt to decrease violence in the area, and the Palestinian Authority vowed to return the tomb to its original state after the evacuation, and after the tensions had settled down.

This is an edited version of an article that first appeared in Israel Hayom.

 

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