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Israeli soldiers critically wound Palestinian child in Qaddum protests

Israeli soldiers fire live ammunition at anti-occupation protesters in Kufr Qaddum, critically wounding a 10-year-old child.

By +972 Magazine Staff

Israeli soldiers take position during protests in the village of Kfar Qaddum, near the West Bank city of Nablus on February 1, 2019. (Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90)

Israeli soldiers take position during protests in the village of Kfar Qaddum, near the West Bank city of Nablus on February 1, 2019. (Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90)

A 10-year-old Palestinian child is in critical condition after Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition at an anti-occupation protest in Kufr Qaddum on Friday. Abdul Rahman Yaser Shtewi was shot in the head with a live bullet and is undergoing surgery at Rafidia Hospital in Nablus, according to a Facebook statement by the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Dozens of protesters — mainly residents of the village joined by some international and Israeli activists — were demonstrating against the Israeli army’s closure of their main access road to Nablus, the nearest West Bank city.

“In eight years [of protests], the army has never responded in such a crazy way as it did today,” said Murad Shtewi, one of the coordinators of the popular protests in the village and a relative of the wounded child.

“The army has used violence in the past, even fired live bullets before, but today, they fired directly [at protesters] in an attempt to suppress our demonstrations,” he added.

Shtewi explained that, once the soldiers began firing live ammunition, the organizers pulled all the protesters back into the village. The soldiers kept on firing, though. He believes the child, who Shtewi said was merely an onlooker and was not involved in the demonstration, was wounded as protesters were retreating.

“The occupation must answer to the crimes it committed today,” said Shtewi. “I urge all human rights organizations, all children’s rights organizations, UNICEF, to get involved immediately and investigate this incident.”

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Kufr Qaddum lies on the main road between the northern West Bank cities of Qalqilya and Nablus. The village itself is situated in Area B, an Oslo Accords designation that puts the Palestinian Authority in charge of civil and administrative matters there. Most of the village’s lands, however, are located in Area C, which is under complete Israeli military control.

For the past eight years, the Palestinian residents of Qaddum have been staging weekly popular protests against the Israeli army’s closure of their main access road. The army closed the road to Palestinian traffic in 2003, citing security concerns to a nearby Israeli settlement partly built on the village’s land.

As a result, Kufr Qaddum residents are forced to take a more circuitous route in order to drive to Nablus, one of the West Bank’s major cities, adding significant time to the journey.

The army has used various tactics over the years in its attempt to suppress the popular struggle. It has utilized attack dogs, installed roadblocks and other forms of collective punishment, carried out waves of arrests and night raids into the village, shot tear gas and putrid ‘skunk water’ at village homes, hung posters threatening to arrest local children, used crowd-control weapons, and even live ammunition.

In response to the army’s presence and violent suppression of the demonstrations, village youths often burn tires, lay large rocks to impede military jeeps, and throw stones toward the soldiers.

Asked about today’s incident in Qaddum, an army spokesperson said: “Earlier today a disturbance developed involving about 60 Palestinians in the village of Qaddum. Palestinians set tires on fire and hurled stones at soldiers there. IDF soldiers responded with means to disperse demonstrations. We are aware of the claim of a wounded Palestinian.”

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    COMMENTS

    1. itshak Gordine

      What does a 10-year-old boy do in a violent protest against soldiers? Do not his parents watch him?

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        The banality of evil is present when Israeli settler children order about and heap abuse on Palestinian adults in Hebron, and their nannies in the army protect the little dictators and their fathers watch them and approve; and when Jewish hilltop youths assault old Palestinian men while army troops stand by and watch; and when 18-year-old soldiers exact arbitrary, petty little acts of cruelty on adult Palestinians at checkpoints and the soldiers’ superiors stand by and watch; and when the Palestinian children see their mothers and fathers abused and humiliated by Israeli children and Israeli soldiers, and the children then pick up stones to throw at the abusers and the children get called “terrorists” and get locked up and deprived of many things including a phone call to the parent they saw humiliated and abused; or they get shot to death; and the banality of evil is present when people like Itshak Gordine Halevy come here and say “tsk tsk, why do parents let their children throw stones? We would never let our children do that.”

        Reply to Comment
        • itshak Gordine

          You launch once more endless accusations without being on the spot. You generalize particular cases and all this in a profusion of words. I confirm that responsible parents do not let children participate in violent protests in which stones, molotov cocktails and burning tires are thrown at soldiers.

          Reply to Comment
          • Bruce Gould

            @Itshak: “…after Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition at an anti-occupation protest in Kufr Qaddum on Friday….“In eight years [of protests], the army has never responded in such a crazy way as it did today,” said Murad Shtewi, one of the coordinators of the popular protests in the village and a relative of the wounded child….“The army has used violence in the past, even fired live bullets before, but today, they fired directly [at protesters] in an attempt to suppress our demonstrations,” he added.”

            Yes, it WAS a violent protest.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            No–you are on the spot and you and your settler buddies let your children run amok and do all the things I describe. And more. Much more. (And then the adults do their thing. Like the burning of hundreds of olive trees that do not belong to you, just the other day. Like the shoving of people off their land and the stealing of their water. And teach your children that this is good. But I digress.) And Halevy, they are not accusations, they are facts. So why are you and your settler partner parents not responsible parents? This is what I want to know.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            And moreover, I do not “generalize particular cases”–typical weasel words of yours if I ever heard them. These “cases” are ROUTINE, standard operating procedure for fifty years, a feature not a bug, not “bad apples.” And any number of +972 articles explain how Israeli system always looks the other way. How the Israeli army, police, and courts are features of this system, not flaws.
            So why are you and other settler parents not better parents? You’re the one all stoked up about good parenting practices, you’re the one smugly feigning to be worried about children, so answer the question. Why do you let your children in the territories do the criminal things that they do? I want to know.

            Reply to Comment
      • Rivka Koen

        > What does a 10-year-old boy do in a violent protest against soldiers?

        You’re almost there. You’re so close. Think about it just a little bit harder and you’ll realize your error. And then you’ll find some way of rationalizing it, but at that point, stop! Don’t rationalize it. Realize your thinking is illogical and change your view.

        Reply to Comment
        • itshak Gordine

          absolutely not. I had several children and I made sure that they did not come close to demonstrations that could hurt them. Arabs in Judea and Samaria instrumentalize their children and their wives for political reasons. They put them forward knowing that Jewish soldiers are patient. Responsible and dignified parents protect their children and protect them from danger. Inveterate leftists can not admit that. This is why they are despised in Israel.

          Reply to Comment
          • carmen

            What you’re really saying is that it’s just kosher to kill palestinian men, women, children, the elderly and the disabled. Just say what you mean to begin with. You should be shouting it from the rooftops, you are so proud of your zionist racist state. Brag about it! Another dead palestinian, hurrah! The only good palestinian is a dead one! Palestinians – they don’t exist, we’ve killed them all! Be proud of your murdering, raping zionist state you feckless pussy. Bonus – your posts would be clearer and so much shorter.

            Reply to Comment
          • itshak Gordine

            Carmen, you are delirious and you do not control your nerves. Understand once and for all: By its merit the Jewish people have returned to their ancestral land of which Judea and Samaria are part. It develops it and makes it bloom again. Minorities who respect our laws can live in peace. Our birth rate is exploding, and that of the minorities is falling inexorably. There has never been in the Arab state history of “Palestine” and no one has heard of “Palestinian people” before the 1960s. Even Arab leaders admit it.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            “I made sure that they did not come close to demonstrations that could hurt them”

            This, in itself, is a kind of lie. A distillation of all the lies. Soldiers do not hurt Jewish kids. Jewish settler kids heap abuse on soldiers and the soldiers meekly back off. The treatment of non-Jewish kids is entirely different. You are a fascinating study in dishonesty, Halevy. Really you epitomize the dishonesty that underlies the entire occupation.
            We are still waiting for you to answer why it is that Jewish settler parents let their children do the criminal things their children do and do routinely.

            Reply to Comment
      • Ray

        What are Jewish settlers doing, taking their kids to live in such a dangerous place? Have they no concern for their safety?

        Reply to Comment
        • itshak Gordine

          But you are wrong. These are quiet and safe places. I spent shabats with families from Hebron and it was magical. We went out in the evening to sing prayers to the praise of the Lord. I also have friends who live in the ancient Jewish district of Shiloah which the Arabs try to appropriate by giving it the name of Silwan. It is safer than crossing the street in Tel Aviv. All these towns and villages of Judea and Samaria are green, quiet and living there it feels like living in the center of the millennium Jewish history. You should visit these places. Airbnb and others offer guest rooms.

          Reply to Comment
        • Carmen

          @Ray – the racist colonists occupying palestine don’t have a care in the world. They’re armed to the teeth and can kill palestinians with impunity and absolutely no repercussions (think of the u.s. police wrt african americans). They are heavily armed and they have the IOF at their disposal, just a phone call away. They should fear the day of judgment but they don’t believe it pertains to them. Kharma is going to be a bitch for them, but they can’t say they didn’t already know.

          Reply to Comment
          • itshak Gordine

            Carmen, we are not afraid of the day of the last judgment. We develop the Holy Land as our Great Sages taught us. This land gives fruit, wine, oil and gas abundantly. The Arab minority benefits greatly. They receive a good salary and enjos a social protection. If you walk around Jerusalem, you’ll see lots of Arab students, Arab families at restaurants, frequenting fashion boutiques. If you go to the central post office in Jerusalem, you will notice that half of the users are minorities. Same as the social welfare office. If you want to buy a drug, you will find that one time out of two the pharmacist is Arab. As for the hospitals, half of the patients and doctors are of this minority. So talking about apartheid and racism is ridiculous and contrary to the truth.

            Reply to Comment
          • john

            look at itshak, counting the minorities and blaming nameless sages for his obtuse racism.

            all his eschatological fantasies should worry those who remember israel is still the only rogue nuclear state in the middle east.

            Reply to Comment
          • Amir

            Palestinians of Jerusalem are not citizen of your “state” they are hardly accepted since they bother for making Jerusalem Arabrein and your state tries to push them out. They are residents, a second class citizenship that can be revoked at any time by the only democracy in the ME>

            The only privilege they have is the “welfare”. It is not a favour to provide them with basic services in exchange of occupying them

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Only Halevy, in his inimitable conniving style, can describe the occupation as “a social protection.” You read this and you realize how far inside a zombie-brainwashed-self-justifying-narcissistic cult are people like this. And how nothing but outside forceful intervention will ever stay someone like this.

            Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          @Itshak Gordine: You need to watch the film, “The Boy in Striped Pajamas.” It was “quiet and safe” and “magical” for the concentration camp commandant’s kids, while it was anything but for the prisoners. The tenderly looked after commander’s children thought everything was “magical.” Until it wasn’t. The thing that people see, Halevy, when they read this by you, is what brazen liars the settlers are. What astoundingly smug, racist overlords they are, how blind they are to the suffering they cause. “Quiet and safe and magical”…and blind to the suffering around you, blind to your own cruelty. It is “quiet” and “magical” at the expense of brutally suppressing and stealing from an entire other people in the land. It is “quiet” and “magical” for Jews only, protected by a massive brutal army and a massive suppressive state and prison apparatus.
          You put on display the ugliest aspects of the settler attitude. The core of it. A distillation. You are a window into the mindset of the settlers and why outside intervention will be necessary to shut down this out-of-control exercise in fanatical, smug, racist inhumanity.

          Reply to Comment
    2. Alexander Pompilius

      Well if it was protests where are all the videos and news coverage? Must have been plenty of cell phone video, yes? Show the Video of Soldiers shooting at peaceful protesters, I really want to see that, otherwise it may be propaganda, Show facts. I Pray the young man fully recovers from his wounds.

      Reply to Comment
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