Photo: Gut Dotan
Some 200 Israelis entered the West Bank city of Nablus illegally overnight and 50 of them tried to barricade themselves in Joseph's Tomb, Ynet learned Monday.
The worshipers clashed with security forces stationed in the compound and assaulted a military driver, who sustained mild injuries. They also apparently damaged some Palestinian property. Several Israelis were arrested.
The incident occurred while the IDF allowed a convoy of 25 buses, carrying some 1,600 worshipers, into Joseph's Tomb for a nightly prayer service that was duly coordinated with the defense establishment.
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Initial details suggest that a group of civilians broke free from the crowd and began running into Nablus, attempting to evade the Israeli security forces.
Overnight, several complaints were lodged by Palestinians claiming property damage. The IDF said all of the complaints were being investigated by the proper authorities.
Military sources denounced what they called the infiltrators' reckless behavior, which forced the soldiers to operate in the Palestinian city in broad daylight: "The irresponsible behavior of this group of civilians endangered both them and the security forces."
An IDF source said that in light of the recent shooting incident in Joseph's Tomb, "One would expect they show some responsibility. Some of them stayed long past dawn, which only increased the danger they were in."
The IDF was eventually able to escort all of the Israeli's out of Nablus. Security forces documented the infiltrators and intent to prosecute them to the full extent of the law.
The IDF said this grave incident will also lead to a review of the security and enforcement measured in the compound, in order to ensure the safety of future convoys.
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