Israeli army violently quells peaceful weekly protest east of Qalqilia

QALAILIA � Israeli forces Friday quelled the weekly and peaceful anti-settlement demonstration in the village of Kufr Qadoom to the east of Qalqilia, according to a local activist.

Coordinator of the popular resistance committee in the village of Kufr Qadoom, Murab Shtawi, said Israeli forces violently suppressed demonstrators, who also rallied to protest Israel’s closure of the main road that connects the village of Kufr Qadoom with the city of Nablus since 2003.

Forces used live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas canisters, and stun grenades, against demonstrators, however, no injuries were reported.

Forces also raided and took over the rooftops of several homes in the area, turning them into military outposts. A number of ambushes were set up by the army inside abandoned houses in the area to arrest demonstrators.

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

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 wellbeing, 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.

Source: Palestinian News & Info Agency

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