Clash between Israeli military and Palestinians at the West Bank shrine

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JERUSALEM – Palestinian gunmen opened fire on Jewish worshipers at a holy hotspot in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, wounding an Israeli military officer and two civilians, the Israeli army said.

The official Palestinian news agency Wafa said a Palestinian teenager was injured by live gunshots and 16 others by rubber bullets during clashes with Israeli forces near the northern West Bank city of Nablus, a frequent point of conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

Some Jews believe that the biblical Joseph is buried here, while Palestinians say it is a sheikh’s tomb. Jewish worshipers, escorted by the Israeli military, often visit the shrine to pray.

The Israeli military said Palestinian gunmen opened fire on hundreds of Jewish worshipers who came to the site overnight on Thursday. The commander of the unit was slightly injured and two civilians were injured, the army said.

According to Wafa, a Palestinian teenager was killed and at least 15 Palestinians injured in clashes with the military near the shrine last month.

In April, Palestinians set fire to the shrine before being evicted by Palestinian security forces, an incident condemned by Israeli leaders.

Thursday’s clash was the latest in a spate of violence that has raged for months, following a spate of deadly attacks in Israel, Israeli arrests across the West Bank and the killing of a Palestinian-American Al Jazeera reporter.

Israel seized the West Bank in the 1967 Middle East War, and the Palestinians are seeking the territory as the heartland of a future state. Nearly 500,000 Israeli settlers live in over 130 West Bank settlements alongside nearly 3 million Palestinians living under Israeli military rule. Clash between Israeli military and Palestinians at the West Bank shrine

Dustin Huang

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