Dozens Shot and Injured as Israeli Army Quells Peaceful Rally East of Qalqilia

QALAILIA, August 28, 2015 (WAFA) – Dozens of Palestinians were shot and injured with rubber-coated steel bullets, while a youth was shot with live ammunition as Israeli forces quelled the weekly and peaceful anti-settlement demonstration in the village of Kufr Qadoom to the east of Qalqilia, according to a local activist.

Coordinator of the popular resistance committee in the village of Kufr Qadoom, Murab Shtawi, said that Israeli forces violently suppressed demonstrators, who also rallied to protest Israel’s closure of the main road that connects the village of Kufr Qadoom with the city of Nablus since 2003, spurring clashes between them.

Forces fired live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas canisters, and stun grenades, at demonstrators, shooting and injuring a youth from Shtawi family with a live bullet in his foot, while dozens others were treated at the scene for rubber bullet injuries. The youth was transferred to hospital for treatment.

Forces further used waste water against demonstrators.

“Before 2003, the residents of Kufr Qaddum would use a shorter road to the east in order to come and go to nearby cities and villages. However, as the settlements expanded so that they overwhelmed the road, it became closed for Palestinian use, said Addameer Human rights Association

The only alternative road is roughly six times longer than the previous route, disrupting the villagers’ ability to attend university, their jobs, and other vital aspects of their economic and social wellbeing, noted Addameer.

“Three Palestinian deaths relating to the road’s closure occurred between 2004 and 2005,” it said.

Although Kufr Qaddum’s Popular Resistance Committee took their case to the Israeli High Court in 2003, the legal status of the road remains unchanged, stressed Addameer.  After all legal appeals failed, villagers decided to organize weekly demonstrations in July 2011, a step that was met with violent suppression by Israeli forces.

Meanwhile, extremist settlers, late Thursday night, cut off the electricity supply to the village after they broke the locks of the village’s power distribution station located near the Israeli settlement of Qedumim, built illegally on the village’s land. As a result, the village locals were left without electricity for hours.