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1 injury, 2 fires and 6 arrests in Friday demos across West Bank

12:00 Jul 6 2012 Kufr Qaddoum, Nabi Saleh, Bilin

1 injury, 2 fires and 6 arrests in Friday demos across West Bank 1 injury, 2 fires and 6 arrests in Friday demos across West Bank
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17-year old injured by rubber-coated bullet in Bi'lin weekly demo (photo: Hamde Abu Rahmah)

Palestinian woman being sprayed by "skunk" water in Nabi Saleh (photo: Activestills)


Weekly demonstrations by the popular committees in three Palestinian villages in the West Bank on Friday endured the customary IDF means of suppression, including tear gas, skunk water and rubber-coated bullets. One child was injured, two fires erupted and several arrests were made.

By The Popular Struggle Coordination Committee

Bi’lin

Residents of Bil’in were joined by Israeli and international activists, and made their way from the center of the village towards the Wall. Demonstrators carried flags and chanted slogans for national unity, for the continued struggle against the occupation and in solidarity with political prisoners. Upon reaching the Abu Lamon grove, an area returned to the village after a long popular and legal battle, protests were met by large army forces that were stationed on the other side of the Wall. The Army shot rubber-coated bullets, tear-gas canisters and shock grenades, and used the “skunk” foul-smelling water cannon, to disperse the unarmed demonstrators.

A 17 year old youth, Mu’awya Al-Khatib was injured by a rubber-coated steel bullet. The extensive shooting also lit fires in the olive groves. The demonstration ended with some clashes between army and youth, who in response to the assault threw stones at the soldiers. No arrests were reported.

Kufr Qaddoum

Two-hundred and fifty Palestinian residents, joined by a handful of Israeli and international activists, protested in the village on Friday against the enclosure of the village and ongoing land grab policy. The protest was launched with a musical march from the center of the village towards the main road, which was blocked off by the army a few months ago. As protesters came close to the barrier, Israeli soldiers began shooting large amounts of tear-gas canisters, as well as rubber coated bullets. Due to the extensive shooting, fires broke out in the village’s fields, causing damage to crops. Palestinian firefighters were called to fight the flames. Village youth replied to the military assault with stones and the event developed into clashes. Before finally retreating, the army arrested 40 year old Majed Jumah, who was taken to Salem detention center.

Kufr Qaddoum, a small town of 3,500 inhabitants, is situated in the northern West Bank, between Nablus and Qalqilya. Qaddoum’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.

Nabi Saleh

Several dozen Nabi Saleh residents joined by supporters from Israel and abroad, joined the weekly protest against settlement expansion and the ongoing occupation this week. Protesters aimed to repeat last week’s historical victory of reaching the fresh water spring that was confiscated by settlers, with the support of the army, more than two years ago. They marched down the hill overseeing the spring, only to be met with extensive use of tear-gas canisters and rubber coated bullets. After reassembling, protesters tried to make their way through the main road of the village. There, the army resorted to using the “skunk” – a water cannon used to spray foul-smelling liquid on protesters. Targeting in particular two women leaders of the protests, the army sprayed massive torrents of liquid directly at them. After some hours of clashes, the army finally retreated.

According to Tamimi Press, Abu Hussam al-Tamimi of the local popular committee was arrested, along with two international activists and one Israeli. No severe injuries were reported.


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