Hundreds of Palestinian villagers and activists, joined by Israeli and international supporters, gathered this week in five localities in the occupied West Bank to protest the ongoing occupation, annexation of lands and construction of settlements and the separation wall.
In Kufr Qaddoum, some 250 people marched from the center of the village towards the main road that has been blocked by the army for the past year. Shortly after, the army attacked the demonstration with volleys of tear-gas, stun grenades and rubber-coated bullets. It also fired live ammunition in the air. 29-year-old Yehya Shtewe was hit in the head with a tear gas canister and required medical treatment.
The weekly demonstration in Nabi Saleh started shortly after midday prayers, making its way from the center of the village towards the confiscated lands. A small battalion of Israelis fired several rounds of rubber-coated steel bullets and a number of tear gas canisters. Some minor clashes erupted, but the demonstration ended without injuries or arrests.
Dozens of protesters participated in the weekly march In Bil’in. Activists made their way to the Abu Lamon reserve, an area returned to the village after its long popular and legal battle. Some protesters were able to come close to the fence and cut out some 8 meters of barbed wire surrounding it. The army retaliated with tear-gas canisters, stun grenades and rubber-coated bullets, as well as with the “skunk” – a water cannon spraying foul-smelling water.
Residents of Ni’lin, joined by Israeli and international supporters, marched to the route of the wall after conducting the Ramadan midday prayer in the olive groves. Some clashes erupted between the army and the local youth, however no injuries were reported. A similar demonstration took place in the village of Ma’asara, where two dozens of residents and a handful of activists marched towards their lands. The march was blocked by the army at the entrance to the village, but the army did not used crowd-control weaponry.