QALQILIA, Friday, July 16, 2021 (WAFA) – Dozens of Palestinians suffocated by tear gas as Israeli forces quelled a peaceful anti-settlement demonstration in the village of Kufr Qaddoum, east of Qalqilia, the occupied West Bank, said a local activist.
The coordinator of the popular resistance committee in the village of Kufr Qaddoum, Murab Shtawi, said Israeli forces stormed the village shortly before the start of the march while residents were performing the Friday prayer.
Forces reportedly took over the rooftops of several homes in the town and turned them into military outposts, leading to clashes. Dozens were treated at the scene from tear-gas suffocation.
The resident of Kuf Qaddoum also rally to protest Israel’s closure of the main road that connects the village of Kufr Qaddoum with the city of Nablus since 2003.
"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 well-being, noted Addameer.
"Three Palestinian deaths relating to the road’s closure occurred between 2004 and 2005," it said. 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.