Israeli occupation forces today violently quelled the peaceful anti-settlement demonstration in the village of Kufr Qaddoum, east of Qalqilia, the occupied West Bank, according to a local activist.
Coordinator of the popular resistance committee in the village, Murad Ishtawi, said Israeli forces suppressed demonstrators who also rallied to protest Israel’s closure of the main road that connects the village of Kufr Qaddoum with the city of Nablus since 2003.
Forces used rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas canisters against protesters, shooting and injuring at least three youth and causing dozens of suffocation cases among them. They were all treated at the scene.
“Before 2003, the residents of Kufr Qaddoum 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 well-being, noted Addameer.
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 the human rights association.
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 (WAFA)