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In Photos:
In photos: Kafr Qaddum protests continue in the face of repression

Jan. 19, 2014 11:53 A.M. (Updated: Feb. 19, 2014 8:40 P.M.)

On Friday, residents of Kafr Qaddum took to the streets as part of a weekly protest against the closure of their main road by Israeli occupation forces.

Locals also protest against the continued Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the confiscation of their lands by local settlers.

Israeli forces closed the town's main road to Palestinians some years ago, cutting locals off from the nearby city of Nablus and other neighboring villages.

Due to the closure of road to Palestinians, the trip to the regional center of Nablus is 14 km longer than it was before, severely hampering local residents' access to services.

Every Friday for the last two years, residents have gathered to voice their anger at the situation, in weekly protests that have been consistently put down violently by Israeli forces.

(MaanImages/BenGe Photography)

Kafr Qaddum is overshadowed by the large Israeli settlement of Qedumim, built on a hill directly adjacent to the Palestinian town.

Thousands of dunums of the village's land have been confiscated by the Israeli authorities for settlers to use, while thousands more dunums of village land have become off-limits to Palestinians as the settlement has expanded over the years since its founding in 1975.

At the same time, Israeli settlers and soldiers frequently harass villagers in the remaining agricultural lands that have not been confiscated.

The Israeli forces' preferred tactic for repressing the protests is by firing large numbers of tear gas canisters at protesters and into residential areas of the village.

During the clashes, protesters try to pick the canisters up and hurl them back at Israeli forces, while local youths collect the spent canisters.

The tear gas canisters are fired at protesters and village homes at high velocity, leading to injuries when individuals are struck by them as well as property damage to local residences.

The excessive amounts of tear gas also pose a major hazard to the health of residents, and every week dozens suffer from the effects.

On Saturday, a day after the weekly protests, Israeli forces raided the village during renewed protests and injured an elderly woman with tear gas.

Saturday's raid came weeks after Israeli forces killed an 85-year-old Palestinian man in the village with tear gas.

Said Jasir succumbed to his wounds in early January after a canister landed in his house, causing him to choke to death on the smoke.

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