Four Injured in Qaddum Demo

Approximately 300 Palestinians and a handful of Israeli and international activists joined the weekly demonstration in Kufr Qaddum this week. Four protesters were injured by tear-gas canisters and rubber-coated bullets. 

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The march proceeded from the center of the village towards the main road, chanting slogans and waving flags. The army awaited near the roadblock, using an additional barbed wire obstacle to prevent the demonstrators from passing to their lands. Upon reaching a distance of about 40 meters from the soldiers, the army began shooting large amounts of tear-gas canisters, some directly at protesters. One Palestinian was hit in the leg by a canister, apparently leading to fracture. This injury led to some clashes between the local youth and the army, which also invaded the village and shot tear-gas inside populated areas. After a short while, the army also began using rubber coated bullets against protesters, from which three demonstrators were injured. Two of them were shortly evacuated to the hospital in Qalqiliya. 

 Kufr Qaddum, a small town of 3,500 inhabitants, is situated in the northern West Bank, between Nablus and Qalqilya. Qaddum's total land area used to consist of nearly 19,000 dunams, of which 11,000 are now under total Israeli control. Village lands have been repeatedly confiscated to build and expand the settlement of Kedumim. The expansion of one the settlement's neighborhoods, Mitzpe Yishai, became relatively well-known when even the Israeli Civil Administration described land takeover as theft. Lands that were officially recognized as belonging to private owners in Qaddum were taken over in an orderly manner, without any official authorization. Furthermore, the village has been effectively besieged since the beginning of the Second Intifada, when the main and only entrance to the village was blocked by the army.