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Palestinian injured, dozens suffocate with tear-gas in Kafr Qaddum

April 12, 2019 4:33 P.M. (Updated: April 13, 2019 10:43 A.M.)
QALQILIYA (Ma'an) -- One Palestinian was injured and dozens of others suffocated with tear-gas as Israeli forces suppressed the weekly Kafr Qaddum march in the northern West Bank district of Qalqiliya, on Friday afternoon.

Coordinator of the local popular committee of Kafr Qaddum, Murad Ishteiwi, said that dozens of Israeli forces fired live bullets, rubber-coated steel bullets, tear-gas canisters and stun grenades to suppress protesters.

Ishteiwi reported that one Palestinian youth was injured with a rubber-coated steel bullet in the leg, while dozens of others suffocated with tear-gas.

Clashes erupted between Palestinian youths and Israeli soldiers, during which Palestinians responded to Israeli bullets with rocks and empty bottles.

No detentions were reported.

Hundreds of locals, several Belgian students along with Israeli and international activists took part int he weekly march that set off this week in support of Palestinian prisoners who are currently holding an open hunger strike.

Residents of Kafr Qaddum began staging weekly protests in 2011 against Israeli 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.
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