Hundreds of Israeli settlers stormed a shrine in the Palestinian city of Nablus with Israeli army protection, sparking clashes that injured dozens of Palestinians and three Israelis.

Thursday’s clash is the latest in a wave of violence that persisted for months following Israeli arrests in the West Bank, and the killing of a Palestinian-American Al Jazeera reporter.
Thursday’s clash is the latest in a wave of violence that persisted for months following Israeli arrests in the West Bank, and the killing of a Palestinian-American Al Jazeera reporter. (Twitter/@abdullahamarna)

Dozens of Palestinians have been injured in clashes that erupted after Israeli settlers' protected by Israeli troops stormed a shrine near the occupied West Bank's city of Nablus. 

One young Palestinian was injured by live ammunition and 16 others by rubber bullets, said Ahmed Jebril, director of emergency centre at the Red Crescent in Nablus on Thursday. 

Jebril added that 40 other Palestinians suffocated from tear gas while four children and an infant were taken to Rafidia Hospital for treatment. Two other Palestinian families were evacuated due to heavy gas shelling. Five burn and fall cases were also reported. 

On the other hand, the Israeli army claimed that Palestinian gunmen opened fire at Jewish worshipers at a holy site in the occupied West Bank, wounding an Israeli military officer and two civilians. 

The commanding officer of the unit suffered slight injuries, and two civilians were wounded, it said. 

READ MORE: Teen among several Palestinians killed by Israeli troops in West Bank

'It’s the tomb of a Sheikh'

Some Jews believe Prophet Joseph is buried at the site, while Palestinians say it’s the tomb of a Sheikh. Settlers escorted by the Israeli military often visit the shrine to pray. 

Last month, a Palestinian teen was killed and at least 15 Palestinians were wounded by the Israeli army near the shrine, according to Wafa news agency.

Thursday’s clash was the latest in a wave of violence that has persisted for months following a string of deadly attacks inside Israel, Israeli arrest raids across the occupied West Bank, and the killing of a Palestinian-American Al Jazeera reporter.

Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Mideast war, and the Palestinians seek the territory as the heartland of a future state. 

Almost 500,000 Israeli settlers live in over 130 illegal settlements dotting the occupied West Bank alongside nearly 3 million Palestinians living under Israeli military rule. 

READ MORE: Senators urge US involvement in Al Jazeera journalist murder investigation

Source: TRTWorld and agencies