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Israeli forces injure international activist during Friday Kafr Qaddum protest

July 12, 2016 11:54 A.M. (Updated: July 12, 2016 1:28 P.M.)
QALQILIYA (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces shot and injured an international solidarity activist on Friday during weekly demonstrations against illegal Israeli settlements in the village of Kafr Qaddum in the northwestern occupied West Bank district of Qalqiliya, according to locals.

The spokesman of Kafr Qaddum weekly protest, Fatah official Murad Shtewei, told Ma’an that Israeli forces stormed the village in the early morning hours, shooting tear gas canisters and stun grenades into the community.

As weekly demonstrations unfolded in the village, Shtewei said an Israeli sniper hiding inside a local Palestinian’s home opened live fire on an international solidarity activist, striking him in the the thigh.

The activist, he said, was evacuated to Rafidia Hospital in Nablus.

Shtewei highlighted that the activist did not want his nationality or identity to be revealed.

During the demonstrations, Israeli forces also detained Palestinian photojournalists Mahmoud Fawzi, Kamil Qaddumi, and Sami Juma who volunteers with the Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance service. They were reportedly released hours later.

Residents of Kafr Qaddum began staging 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 13 years, is the main route to the nearby city of Nablus, the nearest economic center.

Shtewei said 330 protests have been held over that period, during which time 84 protesters have been injured by live fire, including 12 children.

Some 120 others have been detained at protests and were subsequently held in Israeli custody for periods ranging between four and 24 months, Shtewei said, adding that they have paid fines totaling some 25,000 shekels (approximately $6,488).

Over the course of five years, an elderly protester was killed after suffering from excessive tear gas inhalation, one youth lost his eyesight, and another his ability to speak, Shtewei added.
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