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Israeli forces use live ammunition to suppress protest in Kafr Qaddum

Aug. 11, 2017 6:36 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 12, 2017 4:21 P.M.)
QALQILIYA (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces suppressed a weekly march with live ammunition and rubber-coated steel bullets in the village of Kafr Qaddum in the northern occupied West Bank district of Qalqiliya on Friday, according to locals.

Like every week, the march was launched following Friday prayers, which included the participation of hundreds of local and foreign activists who chanted demands to end Israel’s half-century military occupation of the Palestinian territory.

Popular resistance coordinator Murad Shteiwi said that Israeli forces had fired live ammunition and rubber-coated steel bullets at the protesters, who responded by throwing rocks and setting rubber tires on fire.

No injuries were reported.

Shteiwi added that Israeli forces tried to ambush a group of Palestinian protesters in order to detain them. One soldier hid in a hole in the ground, according to Shteiwi, but the Palestinians were able to escape from the soldiers and avoid detention.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an she would look into the reports.

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 for 14 years, is the main route to the nearby city of Nablus, the nearest economic center.

The Israeli army blocked off the road after expanding the illegal Israeli settlement of Kedumim in 2003, forcing village residents to take a bypass road in order to travel to Nablus, which has extended the travel time to Nablus from 15 minutes to 40 minutes, according to Israeli rights group B’Tselem.

Hundreds of Palestinians have been detained during the demonstrations since their start in 2011, and at least one protester was killed, while 84 have been injured by live fire, including 12 children, Shteiwi told Ma'an during a similar protest last year.
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