(Arye Minkov/TPS) Arye Minkov/TPS
Palestinian riots

Clashes erupted early Wednesday morning after Arabs attempted to stop a group of Israelis from visiting a Chanukah-era fort near the biblical city of Shechem.

By TPS

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on Wednesday repelled heavy riots near the city of Shechem (Nablus), with Arabs throwing rocks at troops and setting fire to tires.

An Arab was reportedly shot dead during the riots, according to the Palestinian Authority (PA) Ministry of Health.

An additional 16 people were injured in the clashes in the village of Beta, two of them seriously, the ministry claimed. According to PA news agency Wafa, the boy died in hospital following gunshot wounds to the head.

The IDF released a statement saying that around 500 Arabs had been rioting and that it had received reports of an Arab causality and launched an investigation into the claims.

Clashes erupted early Wednesday morning after Arabs attempted to stop a group of Israelis from visiting a Hasmonean-era fort near the village, TPS has learned.

Three hundred Arabs reportedly assembled near the fort Tuesday night, planning to stop the Israeli group from conducting their visit. The protesters were reportedly dispersed with tear gas and live fire by Israeli troops early Wednesday morning, sparking heavy rioting which has been growing and continuing throughout the day.

In February, TPS reported that the PA had seized the fortress in question and had converted it into “a Palestinian tourist site” as part of its campaign to seize Jewish heritage sites and transform them into “Palestinian sites” while systematically demolishing archaeological findings.

The Shomrim Al Hanetzach‎ (Guarding Eternity) organization had discovered that the PA had installed a new massive flag mast and lighting at the fortress of Arama, an ancient Hasmonean archeological site which dominates the ancient road from Shechem (Nablus) to the Jordan Valley.

Tel Aruma, which is mentioned in the Bible as the city of Avimelech, was the northernmost fortress of the Jewish state during the Hasmonean period.

Photos from the site seen by TPS show that the PA’s construction has caused damage to the fortress’ wall and blocked its water reservoirs. The PA also added a heavy concrete casting for the PA flag flying at the site.

“The PA has declared war on our history,” Shomrim Al Hanetzach warned.