Last updated: 13 December, 2011

Palestinians fire on illegal Israeli pilgrims

Palestinian police shot at a group of Israelis illegally visiting a West Bank religious site, injuring one, Palestinian security officials said Tuesday.

The police opened fire after shouting warnings at the small group of Israeli worshippers who had entered Joseph’s Tomb near the northern West Bank city of Nablus overnight, said the officials.

The Israeli military said it had no comment on the incident.

Israeli public radio said the group was composed of seven ultra-Orthodox Jews, who entered the site without the required coordination with the Israeli military.

Many Jews believe the tomb to be the final resting place of the biblical figure Joseph, and the site is a pilgrimage destination.

But it lies in a Palestinian-controlled area and Israelis are not allowed to visit unless they are part of an Israeli military escorted trip coordinated in advance with the Palestinian Authority.

In April 2011, one Israeli was killed and several others were wounded when Palestinian police opened fire on an unauthorised group near the tomb.