Around 150 Palestinians, together with Israeli and international activists, participated in Kufr Qaddoum’s weekly demonstration against the closure of the road leading to Nablus.
After midday prayers, protesters marched from the center of the village up the main road, but they were soon blocked by Israeli border police who threw stun grenades at the crowd. Clashes ensued for half an hour, after which Israeli forces retreated. Soon after, border police agents suddenly reappeared at the scene and, whilst throwing stun grenades, arrested two Palestinians and one international activist. The Palestinians were beaten up causing nose bleeding, whilst the international activist was punch in his face twice. The three of them were blindfolded and taken to Ariel Police Station.
The demonstration ended at around 14:30h when protesters marched down back to the village.
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.