At least one Palestinian was shot an injured with a rubber-coated steel bullet as Israeli forces quelled the weekly and peaceful anti-settlement demonstration in the village of Kufr Qaddoum, to the east of Qalqilia, said a local activist.
Coordinator of the popular resistance committee in the village of Kufr Qaddoum, Murad Shtawi, said that Israeli forces violently suppressed demonstrators, who also rallied to protest Israel’s closure of the main road that has connected the village of Kufr Qaddoum with the city of Nablus since 2003.
Forces fired live and rubber-coated steel bullets as well as tear gas canisters at demonstrators, shooting and injuring a 19-year-old Palestinian with a rubber-coated bullet to the head, which necessitated his transfer to hospital for medical treatment.
Forces also attacked journalists who were covering the protests, including French Agency photographer Jaafar Ishtayeh , photographer with the Chinese news agency, Nedal Ishtayeh, and Palestine TV cameraman, Mohammed Innayeh. No injuries were reported, however.
“Before 2003, the residents of Kufr Qaddum would use a shorter road to the east in order to come and go to nearby cities and villages. However, as the settlements expanded so that they overwhelmed the road, it became closed for Palestinian use, said Addameer Human rights Association, according to WAFA.
The only alternative road is roughly six times longer than the previous route, disrupting the villagers’ ability to attend university, their jobs, and other vital aspects of their economic and social well being, noted Addameer.
”Three Palestinian deaths relating to the road’s closure occurred between 2004 and 2005,” it said. Although Kufr Qaddum’s Popular Resistance Committee took their case to the Israeli High Court in 2003, the legal status of the road remains unchanged, stressed Addameer.
After all legal appeals failed, villagers decided to organize weekly demonstrations in July 2011, a step that was met with violent suppression by Israeli forces.
(Telesur archive image)