12 FebIsraeli forces invade Kufr Qaddum in an attempt to arrest protesters
Over 150 people participated today in the weekly demonstration in Kufr Qaddum. As every Friday, after midday prayers, protesters marched from the village’s mosque up to the main road, where Israeli forces were blocking the path. Clashes ensued and Israeli soldiers fired a few tear gas canisters at the crowd. Soon after that, soldiers and border police invaded the village chasing protesters in an attempt to arrest them. Then, demonstrators run towards the orchards where Israeli forces unsuccessfully tried to reach them. Tariq Abu Zaid, a journalist from Aqsa TV, was arrested when covering the protest. The demonstration finished at 2 pm without any injury reported.
Kufr Qaddum, a small town of 3,500 inhabitants, is situated in the northern West Bank, between Nablus and Qalqiliya. Kufr Qaddum’s total land area used to consist of nearly 19,000 dunams, of which 11,000 are now under total Israeli control. Village’s lands have been repeatedly confiscated to build and expand the settlement of Qedumim. 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. The main road has been, since then, closed, forcing residents to travel around an extra 15 km to get to Nablus.
Since 2011, residents of Kufr Qaddum have been resisting the land grab and the road closure by holding weekly demonstrations. The Israeli army often violently suppresses the protests shooting tear gas canisters and stun grenades.