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Israeli forces suppress weekly march in Kafr Qaddum

Aug. 18, 2017 5:20 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 19, 2017 10:07 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Clashes erupted on Friday afternoon in the village of Kafr Qaddum in the northern occupied West Bank district of Qalqiliya on Friday afternoon, as Israeli forces suppressed the village’s weekly march held in protest of settlement activity and the closure of the village’s southern road.

Coordinator of Kafr Qaddum’s popular resistance Murad Shteiwi told Ma’an that Israeli forces fired rubber-coated steel bullets and live ammunition at protesters, while Israeli soldiers raided several homes in the village stationed themselves on the rooftops of buildings.

No injuries were reported, according to Shteiwi, who added that while Israeli forces attempted to ambush many Palestinian protesters and detain them, no one was arrested.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an that "earlier this afternoon a violent riot erupted as tens of Palestinians rolled burning tires and hurled rocks at Israeli forces. In order to stop the escalation of violence, soldiers responded with riot dispersal means, and the riot was dispersed.
Israeli forces shot .22 bullets selectively at main instigators."

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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