Kufr Qaddum demo 26 September ’14
Around 11am, two hours before the demo would usually start, the Israeli military was already at the entrance of the village. There were about 20 meters beyond the usual place they take on the main road to face the Friday protesters.
Soon after, a skunk truck doused the main street in smelly water and the bulldozer removed several lines of stones that villagers had placed on the road to prevent army jeeps form entering the village.
We were told that the reason for the early start and moving of the ‘front-line’ nearer to the village, was because of the Jewish new year holidays on 25th and 26th. The army wanted to prevent the holidays from being spoiled by the burning tires and noisy skirmishes between the army and the protesters.
The Israeli soldiers were, as usual, hiding on the sides of the nearby hills amongst the olive trees, but unlike in previous recent protests, groups of four would rush towards the protestors showering them with the tear gas and than would run back under the barrage of stones being flung from protesters.
A large number of tear gas cartridges were shot directly towards demonstrators, which is illegal and against protocol. Many of the cartridges were kicked or thrown back at the soldiers soon after they were fired.
Several people who were overwhelmed by the amount of tear gas, and one person was shot in the upper body by a steel bullet coated in plastic were treated by a Red Crescent Ambulance preset at the scene.
The main road was closed for the villagers in 2003, because the setters from the illegal Qedumim settlement decided to make it a road for their exclusive use. Kufr Qaddum residents have been holding regular protests against this for over three years. As a result of the road closure their journey to the nearest town, Nablus, has doubled in length and tripled in travel costs. The road, which is rightfully theirs, was taken by force just as was the case with every inch of the land the illegal Qedumim settlement was built on.