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Israeli forces injure Norwegian activist in Kafr Qaddum march

Aug. 19, 2018 10:01 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 19, 2018 12:34 P.M.)
QALQILIYA (Ma'an) -- A Norwegian female activist was shot and injured on Saturday with a rubber-coated steel bullet fired by Israeli forces as they attempted to suppress the weekly and peaceful anti-settlement march in the Kafr Qaddum village in the northern occupied West Bank district of Qalqiliya.

According to local sources, various demonstrators participated in the weekly Kafr Qaddum march to protest Israel’s 2003 closure of the main road that connects the village with the northern city of Nablus.

Sources confirmed that clashes broke out among the demonstrators and Israeli forces after Israeli forces attempted to suppress the peaceful march while using force.

During the clashes, Israeli forces opened fire towards the demonstrators, injuring a 45-year-old Norwegian female activist in the abdomen area with a rubber-coated steel bullet.

The identity of the activist remained unknown, as well as her medical condition.

No other injuries were reported from the march.

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.

Addameer, a Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, said “Before 2003, the residents of Kafr Qaddum would use a shorter road to the east in order to come and go to nearby cities and villages.”

Addameer added “The only alternative road is roughly six times longer than the previous route, disrupting the villagers’ ability to attend university, jobs, and other vital aspects of their economic and social wellbeing.”

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