By Saed Bannoura
IMEMC News: Israeli soldiers, supported by an armored military bulldozer and armored vehicles, invaded the village of Kufur Qaddoum, near the northern West Bank city of Qilqilia, after violently dispersing the weekly protest, and clashed with dozens of local youth; several injuries have been reported.
Villagers hold weekly protests against the ongoing closure of the main road of the village, blocking its main entrance since many years, and against the ongoing construction of the Annexation Wall and settlements on lands that belong to the residents.
Local sources reported that the army attacked the village from different directions, and fired dozens of gas bombs, and rubber-coated metal bullets at local youths who hurled stones at the invading army, and sprayed them with waste-water mixed with chemicals.
Medical sources in the village have reported that dozens of residents have been treated for the effects of teargas inhalation, while one reporter, identified as Aref Tuffaha, was injured in the head after being hit by a gas bomb fired by the army.
Morad Eshtewy, coordinator of the Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements in Kufur Qaddoum reported that the army, supported by armored military bulldozers, invaded several neighborhoods in the village, and fired dozens of gas bombs at local youths who hurled stones at the invading forces.
Eshtwey added that that this protest, and all protests that will be held in May, will be conducted in commemoration of the 65th anniversary of the Nakba, marking the Israeli occupation of Palestine, and added that the protests resemble the Palestinian determination to achieve liberation, independence, and the internationally-guaranteed Right of Return of all Palestinian refugees.
Also on Friday, soldiers attacked the weekly nonviolent protests against the Annexation Wall and settlements, in the villages of Bil’in and Ni’lin, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah.
The protests marked the World Press Freedom Day; residents and international and Israeli human rights activists managed to reach the Israeli wall built on lands taken from local villagers.
As protestors arrived to the gate of the wall, Israeli soldiers fired dozens of tear-gas canisters at them.
Several youth responded by throwing rocks at the soldiers. A number of residents were also treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation due to the army attack.
In the nearby village of Nabi Saleh Israeli troops also used tear gas and chemical water, to stop the protestors.
Several residents and international supporters were sprayed by chemical water that leaves bad smell on the victim’s body for a long time, in addition to skin irritations.
Israeli soldiers also fired tear gas inside residents’ homes causing several women and children to choke and suffer the effects of tear gas inhalation.
Furthermore, the army fired dozens of rubber-coated metal bullets and gas bombs at nonviolent protestors in the Al-Ma’sara village, near Bethlehem.
Several residents were treated for the effects of gas inhalation by field medics.
Troops forced people back into the village using rifle-buts and batons; some protestors suffered bruises in the arms and the back.