Israeli authorities arrested dozens of ultraorthodox Jews overnight after they entered a West Bank city without a permit, police said Tuesday.
A group of around 60 Israelis attempted to reach Joseph’s Tomb inside the Palestinian Authority-controlled city of Nablus without first coordinating the visit with the army, which in turn coordinates with Palestinian security.
Palestinian residents of the area pelted the bus carrying the group with stones on the way to the tomb, which is considered sacred to Jews. Israeli reports said two people were lightly injured and one required hospitalization.
Police and soldiers rushed to the area to evacuate the Israelis, arresting 32 people for entering what police consider a dangerous area for unsanctioned Israelis.
“We consider the incident to be very serious,” police spokeswoman Luba Samri said in a statement.
“Entry into Palestinian Authority-controlled Area A without a permit and without coordination and security protection is dangerous for the visitors and seriously endangers the life of the police and soldiers. Entry into [Area A] without permission is a criminal offence punishable by law,” she added.
Jews are allowed entry into the tomb during holidays and other special occasions. Such a visit is normally carried out under army escort and coordinated with the Palestinian security.