QALQILIA, Friday, March 05, 2021 (WAFA) – Several Palestinians suffocated today by tear gas during the Israeli army crackdown on the weekly anti-settlements protest in the northern West Bank village of Kufr Qaddoum, according to the coordinator of the popular resistance committee in the village, Murab Shtawi.
Israeli forces suppressed demonstrators who also rallied to protest Israel’s closure of the main road that connects the village of Kufr Qaddoum with the city of Nablus since 2003.
Forces used rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters, and stun grenades against protesters, causing several suffocation cases among them. They were all treated at the scene.
“Before 2003, the residents of Kufr Qaddum would use a shorter road to the east in order to come and go to nearby cities and villages. However, as the settlements expanded so that they overwhelmed the road, it became closed for Palestinian use, said Addameer Human rights Association.
The only alternative road is roughly six times longer than the previous route, disrupting the villagers’ ability to attend university, their jobs, and other vital aspects of their economic and social wellbeing, noted Addameer.
Although Kufr Qaddum’s Popular Resistance Committee took their case to the Israeli High Court in 2003, the legal status of the road remains unchanged, stressed Addameer.
After all legal appeals failed, villagers decided to organize weekly demonstrations in July 2011, a step that was met with violent suppression by Israeli forces.