QALQILIYA (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces Friday suppressed a weekly march in the village of Kafr Qaddum in the occupied West Bank district of Qalqiliya, shooting rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas canisters at tens of Palestinians, internationals, and Israeli peace activists.
Popular resistance coordinator Murad Shteiwi told Ma’an that Israeli forces attacked the protesters and fired tear gas canisters and rubber-coated steel bullets at the crowd, causing many to suffer tear gas inhalation.
Shteiwi added that the protest was launched with wide participation of the village’s local residents and internationals, despite the cold weather and rain on Friday.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an she would look into reports on the incident.
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 13 years, is the main route to the nearby city of Nablus, the nearest economic center.
Following similar clashes that broke earlier in the year, Shteiwi told Ma'an that more than 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, Shteiwi 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, he added.