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Palestinian Photojournalist injured in Kafr Qaddum protest, forces raid East Jerusalem neighborhoods

Ma’an – September 2, 2016

QALQILIYA – A Palestinian photojournalist was injured by Israeli forces Firday afternoon, as dozens others suffered from tear gas inhalation during the weekly protest in the norther occupied West bank village of Kafr Qaddum.

Popular resistance coordinator in Kafr Qaddum Murad Shtewei told Ma’an that Israeli forces “assaulted” participants in the protest minutes after it began.

The soldiers injured photojournalist Nidal Shtayyah after hitting him with a tear gas canister in the back of his head. He was taken to Rafidia hospital for treatment.

Shtewei added that Israeli forces fired a barrage of tear gas, which landed mostly in surrounding homes, causing a family of five to suffer from tear gas inhalation, in addition to others participating in the protest, who were treated on the scene.

Residents of Kafr Qaddum began staging weekly protests in 2011 against land confiscations, as well as the closure of the village’s southern road by Israeli forces. The road, which has been closed 13 years, is the main route to the nearby city of Nablus, the nearest economic center.

Following similar clashes that broke out last month, Shtewei told Ma’an that more than 330 protests have been held over that period, during which time 84 protesters have been injured by live fire, including 12 children.

Some 120 others have been detained at protests and were subsequently held in Israeli custody for periods ranging between four and 24 months, Shtewei said, adding that they have paid fines totaling some 25,000 shekels (approximately $6,488).

Over the course of five years, an elderly protester was killed after suffering from excessive tear gas inhalation, one youth lost his eyesight, and another his ability to speak, he added.

Meanwhile, along with armed Israeli forces, Israeli Jerusalem municipality crews reportedly raided the occupied East Jerusalem villages of al-Isawyia and Silwan, where they delivered demolition orders and summons to local residents.

According to the Wadi Hilwah Information Center, Israeli forces accompanied municipality crews who raided the al-Bustan neighborhood in Silwan, where they hung demolition orders and warnings telling residents to “follow-up with the municipality on several buildings in the area.”

The forces reportedly took pictures of neighborhoos buildings and entrances of the neighborhood, and wrote tickets for parked cars.

Muhammad Abu al-Homos,a member of the al-Isawiya monitoring committee, said Israeli forces raided the village, searched a house, and patrolled the street ‘provocatively’. He added that the forces detained a teenager who was present in the area.

An Israeli army spokesperson said they were looking into reports of all three incidents in Kafr Qaddum, al-Isawiya and Silwan.

September 2, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Leave a comment

Israeli troops harass the residents of Qaddum, and poison a baby with CS gas while they’re at it

By Yossi Gurvitz | Yesh Din | March 9, 2014

The security forces have a problem with the village of Qaddum. We’re not quite sure why. Perhaps it’s the weekly demonstrations that its residents are holding. What is clear is that they have decided to teach the village a lesson. Recently, a mysterious officer, who according to testimonies of the residents calls himself Captain Sabri, walks around telling people he will come and teach them a lesson. Some of the residents suspect him of being an ISA (Israeli Security Agency, AKA Shin Bet) officer.

Whatever Sabri’s organizational loyalty may be, he keeps his word. The Friday demonstrations are dispersed with an iron fist, and beyond that the residents also report recurring attacks on the village, even on days when no demonstrations are held. These attacks include the throwing of stun grenades and CS gas canisters, CS gas being the more aggressive form of tear gas.

In one case which actually made the Israeli media – of course, under the utilitarian fear that one more person killed by the IDF will make the kettle boil and cook us a new intifada – an old man from Qaddum, Saeed Gasser Nassar Ali, aged 85, died after inhaling gas which seeped into his house following a demonstration. The doctor who treated Ali found it hard to give him the best treatment possible, since he too was suffocating from the gas. Let’s say that again: the man suffocated in his house, and died shortly after in the hospital. Not during a demonstration. In his house.

Three weeks before Ali died, M., a resident of Qaddum, woke up at about 1 AM. His brother warned him that the army was raiding the village, and that all windows must be closed. Soon after, even though he thought he had closed all the windows, gas seeped into the house. The first to feel it was seven year old A., who began screaming that he can’t breathe. Then four year old R. began complaining he was feeling ill. The gas came through the windows of the bathroom, which is close to the children’s room and was forgotten.

M.’s wife was in the bedroom, holding H., a two month old baby, in her arms. When the gas reached the bedroom, she too had trouble breathing. M. noticed H. was turning blue and throwing up. He called an ambulance, and reached the village’s doctor – the same doctor that, a few weeks later, himself under gas attack, would have trouble treating the late Ali. The doctor gave H. an injection and hooked him with oxygen, and soon afterwards he was evacuated to a hospital in Qalqiliya. The doctors told the parents H. was in critical condition; happily, by the morning he was significantly better.

None of this will make the news. No one died. It’s just two children and an infant, poisoned by tear gas in the peace of their home. That’s the way occupation works: it requires terror, and effective terror necessitates the knowledge that no place is safe, that even the peace of the children’s room may be violated at any moment, by a cloud of something burning and suffocating. Don’t look away, my dears: this is what we finance. This is what the flying shards, flying as the tree is cut, look like. Like the broken egg without which no omelet can be made, and all the other clichés we tell ourselves when we say – “there’s nothing we can do”. Perhaps we can begin by not suffocating babies with gas?

Fear not: no IDF soldier will be harmed as a result of complaints filed after such events. As apparent in the case of Jawahar Abu Rahma, killed after inhaling gas three years ago, in which case we still lead a legal struggle so that the IDF will begin an investigation (!) into her death, the soldiers have nothing to fear. They’re covered. In our case, M., the father, does not intend to lodge a complaint. The rhetoric of “the most moral army in the world” failed to convince him. He knows there is no point in the effort and the heartache. And who knows, if you complain, maybe you’ll be targeted for harassment. So what’s the point? Better to make sure all windows are properly closed. Maybe, next time, it won’t be your baby.

March 10, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Leave a comment

Murad Eshtewi, head of the Popular Committee of Kafr Qaddum, has been arrested

International Solidarity Movement | December 21, 2013

Kafr Qaddum, Occupied Palestine – Yesterday morning, Murad Eshtewi, the head of the Popular Committee of Kufr Qaddum and leader of the Friday demonstrations was arrested and is still being held by Israeli forces.

At around 3:00 on Friday morning, Israeli soldiers entered the village of Kafr Qaddum, in Qalqilya district, arresting two citizens on the accusation of having taken part in the regular Friday demonstrations held in the village. The men were released the following morning without charges.

The house of Murad Eshtewi, the head of the Popular Committee of Kafr Qaddum, was also raided during the night incursion and he was subjected to aggressive questioning.

Later, at approximately 10:00 on Friday morning, two hours before the demonstration was due to begin, Mr Eshtewi was walking on the outskirts of the village and was ambushed and arrested by soldiers. He did not resist this arrest and yet Israeli forces were extremely aggressive in their use of both pepper spray and stun grenades. He has not yet been released.

His attorney, Lymor Goldstein, stated that, “Contrary to the fundamental principles of due process we have not been presented with the accusations against Murad nor has he been interrogated since his arrest. “

In recent weeks there has been a steady escalation of night raids, increasingly violent repression of Friday demonstrations, flying checkpoints and seemingly arbitrary arrests. In the past month alone there have been more than twenty night raids on houses in the village.

Last month a new army commander responsible for the area gave a verbal warning to villagers stating that, unless they suspend their Friday demonstrations, the military harassment outlined above would be increased.

A typical night raid will involve up to around fifty soldiers surrounding and entering a particular house. Tear gas is often released and live ammunition may be fired into the air to intimidate residents. Israeli soldiers may break windows and doors in order to enter the houses.

Arrestees are blindfolded and handcuffed before being taken for questioning to another location. Interrogation may take place in the back of an army jeep, on the ground at the side of the road, or within the police station. Frequently they are subjected to verbal and physical abuse. When released, the detainees are often left in the road, kilometers from their homes.

The villagers of Kafr Qaddum are currently unable to access much of their land due to the closure by the Israeli army of the village’s main and only road leading to Nablus in 2003. The road was closed in three stages, ultimately restricting access for farmers to the 11,000 dunams of land that lie along either side to one or two times a year. Since the road closure, the people of Kafr Qaddum have been forced to rely on an animal trail to access this area; the road is narrow and, according to the locals, intended only for animals. In 2004 and 2006, three villagers died when they were unable to reach the hospital in time. The ambulances carrying them were prohibited from using the main road and were forced to take a 13 km detour. These deaths provoked even greater resentment in Kafr Qaddum and, on 1 July 2011, the villagers decided to unite in protest in order to re-open the road and protect the land in danger of settlement expansion along it.

December 21, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Video | , , , , | Leave a comment

Israeli army detains a 10-year-old during the weekly demonstration in Kafr Qaddum

A young Palestinian protester runs away
A young Palestinian protester runs away from Israeli soldiers during a demonstration against the expropriation of Palestinian land by Israel in the village of Kafr Qaddum, near the West Bank city of Ramallah on June 22, 2012. Source

International Women’s Peace Service | June 14, 2013

Kafr Qaddum, Occupied Palestine – On Friday 14 June, the Israeli army arrested a 10-year-old child during the weekly protest in Kafr Qaddum. Israeli soldiers fired tear gas canisters and sound bombs at the villagers; many local residents suffered from tear gas inhalation.

At approximately 12:00, when residents and international solidarity activists started gathering for the demonstration before the Friday prayers, nearly 30 foot soldiers stormed the village from the main road leading toward the illegal Israeli settlement Qedumim. As they entered the village, they fired tear gas canisters directly at the group before the demonstration even began. Local youth resisted the incursion, chasing the soldiers back from the bystanders toward a hill overlooking the village.

Over the next two and a half hours, soldiers shot tear gas and threw sound bombs at demonstrators in the olive groves next to the main road of the village. At approximately 12:30, soldiers detained a 10-year-old boy. While in their custody, soldiers tied his hands, grabbed him by the neck, beat him and threatened to “drop [him] from this rock.”

Nearly one and a half hours later, the boy was released and residents of Kafr Qaddum celebrated his return. Soldiers continued to fire tear gas at local youth protesting at the edge of the village close to the illegal settler colony of Qedumim. No further arrests were made and the demonstration ended at around 15:00.

Kafr Qaddum is a 3,000-year-old agricultural village that sits on 24,000 dunams of land. The village was occupied by the Israeli army in 1967; in 1978, the illegal settler-colony of Qedumim was established nearby on the remains of a former Jordanian army camp, occupying 4,000 dunams of land stolen from Kafr Qaddum.

The villagers are currently unable to access an additional 11,000 dunams of land due to the closure by the Israeli army of the village’s main and only road leading to Nablus in 2003. The road was closed in three stages, ultimately restricting access for farmers to the 11,000 dunams of land that lie along either side to one or two times a year. Since the road closure, the people of Kafr Qaddum have been forced to rely on an animal trail to access this area; the road is narrow and, according to the locals, intended only for animals. In 2004 and 2006, three villagers died when they were unable to reach the hospital in time. The ambulances carrying them were prohibited from using the main road and were forced to take a 13 km detour. These deaths provoked even greater resentment in Kafr Qaddum and, on 1 July 2011, the villagers decided to unite in protest in order to re-open the road and protect the land in danger of settlement expansion along it.

Kafr Qaddum is home to 4,000 people; some 500 residents attend the weekly demonstrations. The villagers’ resilience, determination and organization have been met with extreme repression. More than 120 village residents have been arrested; most spend 3-8 months in prison; collectively they have paid over NIS 100,000 to the Israeli courts. Around 2,000 residents have suffocated from tear-gas inhalation, many in their own homes. Over 100 residents have been shot directly with tear-gas canisters. On 27 April 2012, one man was shot in the head by a tear-gas canister that fractured his skull in three places; the injury cost him his ability to speak. In another incident, on 16 March 2012 an Israeli soldier released his dog into the crowded demonstration, where it attacked a young man, biting him for nearly 15 minutes whilst the army watched. When other residents tried to assist him, some were pushed away while others were pepper-sprayed directly in the face.

The events of the past week are part of a continuous campaign by the Israeli military to harass and intimidate the people of Kafr Qaddum into passively accepting the human rights violations the Israeli occupation, military and the illegal settlers inflict upon them.

June 14, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Leave a comment

Kafr Qaddum – Blocked from life’s basics; pushed back when doing something about it

International Solidarity Movement | May 24, 2013

Kafr Qaddum, Occupied Palestine – Tear-gas showered down on villagers in Kafr Qaddum yesterday, nearly blinding one media worker in a direct hit and nearly suffocating a child as villagers protested the roadblock that has hindered their lives for a full decade. The villager’s own stone barricades, meant to slow Israeli vehicle access during demonstrations, were bulldozed and jeeps entered the village shooting tear-gas indiscriminately. At least 5 dunams of land was also set fire to by tear-gas, some intentionally shot in such a way as to cause fire by the searing hot canisters.

The villagers marching towards the Israeli roadblock did not even get to the edge of the residential area as usual before a jeep, specially equipped to fire multiple rounds of tear-gas simultaneously, sent villagers back in order to breathe. With the gas barely cleared, villagers regained momentum and continued. Awaiting them was a bulldozer, a familiar sight in Kafr Qaddum, which ploughed through the numerous stone barricades that stall incursions by jeeps. The bulldozer, specially designed to withstand physical damage, was escorted on foot by the Magav (so-called ‘border’ police), who fired additional tear-gas at those symbolically throwing stones at the bulldozer as it dismantled the scant protection they have against Israeli jeeps rapidly storming into their village. The rocks gone, two jeeps pursued the protesters further into the village with the Magav firing tear-gas at them to aid in their advance.

Gathering themselves together again, the demonstrators moved towards a point in the village to which the Magav had then pulled back. New road barricades were placed and a brief stand-off ensued. Then officers on foot fired tear-gas from their rifles; one directly-aimed canister hit Ayman Nazzal, from a television news crew there, right in the face. Fortunately, his gas mask absorbed most of the impact but he sustained an injury just above his right eye, which would have been critical had it been a finger-width lower. Immediately following this volley of gas by the Magav, the bulldozer went in for a second time, trailed by the jeeps and then the officers who had stood alongside the bulldozer, who intermittently shot tear-gas in whatever direction they saw villagers that had not been chased by the pair of jeeps.

Additional border police, on top of the adjacent mountainside overlooking the whole scene, had meanwhile shot tear-gas down at those gathered on the slope below them; the tear-gas canisters caused several large fires amongst the dry bushes and several olive trees, the villagers’ livelihoods. The fire service was called in and, after the protest had finished, they remained along with a few villagers to calm the flames.

By the close of the demonstration, Yazan Brham, only 10 years-old, had to receive medical treatment after inhaling the toxic gas shot. He and Ayman are in a stable condition, with Ayman having had an overnight stay in Rafidia Hospital in west Nablus, the city to which the roadblock impedes direct access from Kafr Qaddum.

“There are two things that are most important to us: organization and character,” said Murad Shtiawi, a local participant. Recent weeks have displayed the kind of organization Murad noted as the village demonstrators have faced bulldozers, a skunk truck, foot soldiers in the village and raining tear-gas propelled from army jeeps; all countered with careful response by the demonstrators as they communicate throughout the protest and constantly employ media to document their resistance. At the protest a fortnight ago, soldiers waited on the top of the adjacent mountainside, hid amongst roadside olive tree groves and inside army trucks, attempting to surround the protesters from three sides. As villagers saw the trap coming, they stayed back in stalemate until a bulldozer arrived to remove barricades the residents had built to slow potential invasion of the village by Israeli forces. In front of the bulldozer walked the Magav, firing tear-gas canisters and clearing the way in front of the bulldozer.

Kafr Qaddum is a 3,000 year-old agricultural village that sits on 24,000 dunams of land. The village was occupied by the Israeli army in 1967 and 1978 saw the establishment of the illegal settler-colony of Qedumim. The settlement, built on the remains of a former Jordanian army camp, occupies 4,000 dunams of land stolen from Kafr Qaddum. The villagers are currently unable to access an additional 11,000 dunams of land due to the closure of the village’s main and only road leading to Nablus by the Israeli army in 2003.

The road was closed in three stages, ultimately restricting access for farmers to the 11,000 dunams of land that lie along either side to one or two times a year. Since the road closure, the people of Kafr Qaddum have been forced to rely on an old goat path to access this area; the road is therefore small and narrow, suitable, as the locals describe, only for animals. In 2004 and 2006, three villagers died when they were unable to reach the hospital in time. The ambulances carrying them were prohibited from using the main road and were forced to take a 13km detour. These deaths provoked even greater resentment in Kafr Qaddum and, on 1st July 2011, the villagers decided to unite in protest in order to re-open the road and protect the land in danger of settlement expansion along it.

Kafr Qaddum is home to only 4,000 people, yet almost 500 residents come to the weekly demonstrations held after Friday prayers. The villagers’ resilience, determination and organisation has been met with extreme repression. More than 120 village residents have been arrested. Most of them spend between three to eight months in prison and together they have paid over 100,000 Shekels to the Israeli courts.  Two thousand residents have suffocated from tear-gas inhalation, some in their own homes and 100 residents have been shot directly with tear-gas canisters. On 27th April 2012, one man was shot in the head by a tear-gas canister, fracturing his skull in three places and costing his ability to speak. An Israeli soldier released his dog into the crowded demonstration on 16th March 2012, where it attacked a young man for nearly 15 minutes whilst the army watched. When other residents tried to assist him, they were pushed away and some were pepper-sprayed directly in the face.

May 25, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Israeli soldiers attack, injure and arrest journalists at Kafr Qaddum

On Friday, August 17, five were injured and eight arrested at Kafr Qaddum. … Full text of ISM article


Media Forum condemns IOF attack on six journalists

Palestine Information Center – 18/08/2012

GAZA– Palestinian Media Forum strongly condemned the Israeli occupation forces’ attack on six Palestinian journalists and detaining them for hours while they were covering a peaceful demonstration in the occupied West Bank on Friday.

The Forum said in a statement Saturday, that IOF soldiers attacked the journalists while dispersing the weekly peaceful march against the separation wall in Kafr Qaddum in Qalqilya in the West Bank, and transferred them to Kedumim settlement established on the village lands.

It affirmed that the detainees were released after the occupation soldiers forced them to sign a pledge not to perform their work as journalists in Kafr Qaddum. … Full PIC article

August 18, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Israeli interrogators sexually harass Palestinian children in detention

Palestine Information Center – 08/07/2012

RAMALLAH — A number of Palestinian children who were detained in different circumstances have reported their exposure to abuse and maltreatment by Israeli soldiers and interrogators.

In some cases, the interrogators sexually harassed the children and on other occasions they threatened to rape them if they did not cooperate or make certain confessions, according to the children’s testimonies.

Palestinian statistics documented the detention of more than 9,000 children during the past ten years, mostly from occupied Jerusalem and West Bank villages such as Bil’in, Ma’sarah, Kafr Qaddum, Nabi Saleh and Beit Ummar.

A child named Mohamed said an Israeli interrogator threatened to sexually harm him if he refused to confess to throwing stones at soldiers and settlers.

Samer, another child, was given the choice of working as an informer or else he would be tortured, raped and jailed on a charge of throwing a Molotov cocktail at an Israeli patrol in Azzun village near Qalqiliya city.

For his part, director of the Al-Haq organization for human rights Shawan Jabbarin said the Israeli interrogators offer to get rid of the sexual and psychological pressure inflicted on the detained Palestinian children if they will work for them.

Jabbarin noted that Israel violates all limitations for the detention of minors under age 18 as stipulated by the fourth Geneva convention.

He stressed the need for the presence of a lawyer or one of the parents during the interrogation of children to prevent violations against them and to protect their rights.

The activist appealed to the UN and human rights organizations to intervene and oblige Israel to respect international law on the rights of children and release them all from its jails.

July 8, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , , | 5 Comments