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Israeli forces suppress weekly Kafr Qaddum march

Aug. 17, 2018 5:14 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 29, 2018 4:29 P.M.)
QALQILIYA (Ma'an) -- Dozens of Palestinians suffered tear-gas suffocation as Israeli forces suppressed the weekly Kafr Qaddum march in the northern West Bank district of Qalqiliya on Friday afternoon.

Coordinator of the local popular committee of Kafr Qaddum, Murad Ishteiwi, said that Israeli forces showered protesters with tear-gas bombs, in addition to opening live fire and rubber coated steel bullets.

Ishteiwi added that clashes erupted between hundreds of Palestinian youths and Israeli soldiers, during which Palestinians threw rocks and empty bottles.

Israeli soldiers went up a mountain overlooking homes of the village, throwing tear-gas bombs which caused residents to suffer tear-gas inhalation.

The march had set off from the Omar Bin al-Khattab mosque following Friday prayers; hundreds of locals and international and Israeli activists took part in the march along with a group of Korean journalists who are filming a documentary on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Residents of Kafr Qaddum began staging weekly protests in 2011 against Israeli 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.
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