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Israelis and Palestinians wounded in West Bank shootings

Palestinians  hurl rocks at Israeli army vehicles during clashes in the town of Rujayb, east of the occupied West Bank city of Nablus on August 30
— Nablus (Palestinian Territories) (AFP)

Palestinians opened fire at Israeli Jews who snuck into an occupied West Bank city to visit a shrine, wounding two of them, the Israeli army and medical sources said Tuesday.

The incident in Nablus was followed by an unrelated Israeli military raid nearby in which four Palestinians were shot.

The army said the earlier shooting happened when "a number of civilians entered Nablus".

The Israelis were headed to Joseph's Tomb, believed to be the last resting place of the biblical patriarch Joseph, a flashpoint for violence in the West Bank, and revered as a holy site.

The Israeli army secures monthly pilgrimages to the tomb, but prohibits civilians entering on their own.

"While they were there, they were shot and wounded," the army said, adding that soldiers "entered the city to rescue them."

The vehicle of the Israelis was torched by Palestinians, an AFP reporter said, with the situation in the city remaining tense hours after the event.

Two men were wounded and were being treated in hospitals in central Israel, a spokeswoman for the Rabin medical centre and a spokesman for Sheba hospital told AFP.

Israel has occupied the West Bank since the Six-Day War of 1967, when it seized the territory from Jordan.

In an incident which the military said was unrelated to the shrine shooting, clashes erupted east of Nablus on Tuesday morning as Israeli security forces raided a house.

"Soldiers used means including shoulder-fired missiles at the building where the two wanted men were barricaded," the military said in a statement.

Heavy gunfire rang out around homes in the village of Rujib, an AFP correspondent said.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said its medics treated four people for gunshot wounds.

The Israeli army said it seized weapons and detained two people in the raid who were suspected of carrying out a shooting in the West Bank.