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2 Palestinian youths injured during clashes with Israeli soldiers in Kafr Qaddum

July 22, 2016 4:46 P.M. (Updated: July 24, 2016 7:58 P.M.)
QALQILIYA (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces Friday injured two Palestinian youths with crowd-control weapons during a weekly march in the village of Kafr Qaddum near Qalqiliya, while dozens of other demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation, according to local activists.

Popular resistance coordinator in the village Murad Shtewei told Ma’an that Israeli forces began shooting rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas bombs into the crowd of demonstrators shortly after the march took off.

A youth was reportedly hit in the head by a tear gas canister and rushed to the Rafidiya Hospital, where his injury was reported as moderate.

Another Palestinian youth was injured by a rubber-coated steel bullet in his thigh and was immediately treated by a medical team at the scene.

Locals told Ma’an that Israeli forces also sprayed skunk water, a putrid smelling liquid commonly sprayed at Palestinian protesters by Israeli forces as a method of non -lethal crowd control. The foul liquid is known to linger in the targeted areas for weeks, with Palestinians commonly charging Israel with aiming at densely-populated areas, such as spraying the liquid inside refugee camps even as demonstrations are being held outside of the populated area.

Locals also reported seeing an Israeli drone during the march, which photographed the demonstrators.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an she would look into reports on the clashes.

Hundreds of locals took part in the march which launched after Friday prayers, including member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council Hasan Shtewei, in addition to several international and Israeli peace activists.

Residents of Kafr Qaddum began staging weekly protests in 2011 against land confiscations, as well as the closure of the village's southern road by Israeli forces. The road, which has been closed 13 years, is the main route to the nearby city of Nablus, the nearest economic center.

Shtewei said more than 330 protests have been held over that period, during which time 84 protesters have been injured by live fire, including 12 children.

Some 120 others have been detained at protests and were subsequently held in Israeli custody for periods ranging between four and 24 months, Shtewei said, adding that they have paid fines totaling some 25,000 shekels (approximately $6,488).

Over the course of five years, an elderly protester was killed after suffering from excessive tear gas inhalation, one youth lost his eyesight, and another his ability to speak, he added.

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