JERUSALEM (JTA) – An Israeli soldier was injured by Palestinian rioters while he protected Jewish pilgrims to Joseph’s Tomb in the West Bank.
On Monday, the rioters threw rocks and firebombs, and rolled burning tires at the soldiers at the Nablus site, according to reports. The injured soldier was evacuated to an Israeli hospital and treated.
Twenty busloads of visitors had arrived at the tomb, which is believed to be the burial place of the biblical patriarch, early in the morning to pray. The army co-ordinates periodic visits to the site, which is under the control of the Palestinian Authority.
Under the 1993 Oslo Accords, the site was to remain under Israeli control. The Israel Defense Forces evacuated the premises in October 2000 during the second intifada and it was burnt down by Palestinians.
Jewish worshippers in coordination with the IDF make monthly nocturnal pilgrimages to the site, which has been renovated and restored.
Palestinian rioters were injured by Israeli soldiers during Jewish visits in May and June.