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Palestinian photojournalist injured in Kafr Qaddum protest, forces raid East Jerusalem neighborhoods

Sept. 2, 2016 10:25 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 3, 2016 5:53 P.M.)
QALQILIYA (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian photojournalist was injured by Israeli forces Friday afternoon, as dozens others suffered from tear gas inhalation during the weekly protest in the northern occupied West Bank village of Kafr Qaddum.

Popular resistance coordinator in Kafr Qaddum Murad Shtewei told Ma'an that Israeli forces "assaulted" participants in the protest minutes after it began.

The soldiers injured photojournalist Nidal Shtayyah after hitting him with a tear gas canister in the back of his head. He was taken to Rafidia hospital for treatment.

Shtewei added that Israeli forces fired a barrage of tear gas, which landed mostly in surrounding homes, causing a family of five to suffer from tear gas inhalation, in addition to others participating in the protest, who were treated on the scene.

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.

Following similar clashes that broke out last month, Shtewei told Ma'an that 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.

Meanwhile, along with armed Israeli forces, Israeli Jerusalem municipality crews reportedly raided the occupied East Jerusalem villages of al-Isawyia and Silwan, where they delivered demolition orders and summons to local residents.

According to the Wadi Hilwah Information Center, Israeli forces accompanied municipality crews who raided the al-Bustan neighborhood in Silwan, where they hung demolition orders and warnings telling residents to "follow-up with the municipality on several buildings in the area."

The forces reportedly took pictures of neighborhood buildings and entrances of the neighborhood, and wrote tickets for parked cars.

Muhammad Abu al-Homos, a member of the al-Issawiya monitoring committee, said Israeli forces raided the village, searched a house, and patrolled the streets "provocatively." He added that the forces detained a teenager who was present in the area.

An Israeli army spokesperson said they were looking into reports of all three incidents in Kafr Qaddum, al-Issawiya and Silwan.

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