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Israeli forces suppress weekly march in Kafr Qaddum

June 16, 2017 7:57 P.M. (Updated: June 17, 2017 11:41 A.M.)
QALQILIYA (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces suppressed a weekly march held in the village of Kafr Qaddum in the northern occupied West Bank district of Qalqiliya on Friday.

Coordinator of the village’s popular resistance Murad Shteiwi told Ma’an that clashes erupted as Israeli forces suppressed the march, firing tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets, leaving 10 Palestinians suffering from severe tear gas inhalation.

An Israeli army spokesperson said they were looking into reports.

Shteiwi said that all tear gas inhalation cases were treated on the scene, and added that Palestinians threw rocks and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers.

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 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.

Hundreds of Palestinians have been detained during the demonstrations since their start in 2011, and at least one protester was killed, while 84 have been injured by live fire, including 12 children, Shteiwi told Ma'an during a similar protest last year.

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

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