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West Bank protesters show solidarity with Gazans

On Friday, the weekly demonstration in Kufr Qaddum was subject to successive volleys of tear gas attacks as the Israeli army entered the village. Several protesters were injured in the process, including one man who suffered a direct hit to the back of the head from a tear gas canister. He remains hospitalized.

By Alon Aviram

Protesters run from Tear gas in Kufr Qaddum November 16, 2012 (photo: Tal King)

In light of the current situation in Gaza and the south of Israel, there was visibly a smaller presence of press at protest sites. Some activists had feared that this factor would invite the Israeli military to be more heavy handed in its policing.

As soldiers enter the village of Kufr Qaddum, a B’tselem photographer continues to record events, November 16, 2012. (photo: Tal King)

Iyad, a resident of Qaddum, made it clear that while Friday’s demonstration was part of a weekly response to local Israeli army policies, “more people have come out today than usual in order to show solidarity with Gaza and its people.” As Israeli soldiers entered the village, protesters could be heard shouting chants in solidarity with Gazans.

As of ten years ago, the main road leading in and out of the village of Qaddum was blocked by the Israeli army. The road was reportedly closed in order to prevent Palestinian traffic from driving past the neighboring settlement of Kedumim. After years of court-based appeals and various other political efforts, local residents have resorted to weekly demonstrations in a bid to force the army to reopen the road.

Yusuf Saba, 26, receives treatment after being hit in the head by a tear gas canister. November 16, 2012. (photo: Alon Aviram)

Volleys of tear gas canisters were fired into the village as people protested on the blocked road. As soldiers advanced, forcing the crowd to run back into the village, one young man was knocked to the ground by what was likely a rubber bullet. Another resident, Yusuf Saba, 26, of Qaddum, was hit in the back of the head by a tear gas canister. A local ambulance crew were quick to respond and worked to stop the blood flow. He remains hospitalized in Nablus.

Soldiers are temporarily chased out of the village of Qaddum, Nov. 16,2012. (photo: Tal King)

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    1. Ed Frias

      Great article which talks about Palestinian rejection.

      How “Moderate” Palestinians Succumb to Threats
      Khaled Abu Toameh, GATESTONE INSTITUTE
      Nov 15, 2012

      This radicalization — to a point where they are not ready to hear about any concessions to Israel — is the direct result of decades of anti-Israel incitement and indoctrination, spearheaded, ironically, by the “moderate” Palestinian Authority leadership that is publicly talking about making peace with Israel.

      Today there is almost no room for moderates among the Palestinians.

      Any Palestinian who dares to talk about compromise and peace with Israel, or even meet with Israelis, is immediately denounced as a “traitor” and “defeatist.”

      Take, for example, the most recent case of Munib al-Masri, a wealthy Palestinian businessman from Nablus, the largest city in the West Bank.
      Known as the “Palestinian Rothschild,” al-Masri has drawn strong condemnations from many Palestinians for hosting Israeli businessman Rami Levy at his home.

      Even Palestinian journalists have joined the campaign against al-Masri. Some 70 journalists signed a petition calling on the Palestinian media to stop calling calling al-Masri’s palace by its name “The House of Palestine.”

      Inspired by Andrea Palladio, the most influential individual in the history of Western architecture, The “House of Palestine” is the most expensive palace in the West Bank.

      It was in this palace that al-Masri met with Levy and Palestinian, Arab, Islamic, UN and EU representatives to find ways to “break the stalemate” in the Middle East peace process.

      The main purpose of the gathering was to “create an Arab-Islamic-Jewish alliance to impact decision-makers by launching an initiative to break the stalemate,” according to a statement issued by al-Masri.

      Palestinians representing various political groups have since condemned al-Masri for promoting “normalization” with Israel by inviting an Israeli businessman to the meeting in his palace.

      The widespread condemnations forced al-Masri to issue a “clarification” in which he reassured Palestinians that he was “totally opposed to any economic relations with Israeli businessmen as long as Israel continued to occupy the 1967 territories.”

      The “clarification” is yet another sign of how moderate Palestinians succumb to threats and calls for boycott.

      A few days later, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas underwent the same experience.

      In an interview with Israel’s Channel 2 TV station, Abbas stated that he did not want to return to his birthplace of Safed [in northern Israel], triggering an unprecedented wave of denunciations from many Palestinians who accused him of relinquishing the Palestinian refugees’ “right of return” to their former villages inside Israel.

      Like al-Masri, Abbas later reassured Palestinians that he remained “committed to the right of return” and that he would never compromise on the rights of the refugees.

      Obviously, the Palestinians have been radicalized to a point where they are not ready to hear about any concessions to Israel or tolerate the presence of an Israeli businessman in a Palestinian city. This radicalization is the direct result of decades of anti-Israel incitement and indoctrination in the Palestinian territories — a campaign that has been spearheaded, ironically, by the “moderate” Palestinian Authority leadership that is publicly talking about making peace with Israel.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Ed Frias

      Alon Aviram tell your Koranic allies to stop firing missles from Gaza and this situation ends immediately.

      Reply to Comment
    3. The Trespasser

      It is good to be reminded that ALL Palestinian Arabs support rockets raining on Israeli civilians.

      Not that it is secret or something.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Alon Aviram

      Ed Frias. Spare me the crap. But I’ve got to hand it to you, I haven’t ‘Koranic allies’ before.

      Reply to Comment
      • EK uk

        Just because he does not agree with you it does not mean it is crap. This attitude display one dimensional thinking common within the Arab world. Why don’t you try to live the life of an Isreali in south isreal rising kids under constant threat of missile attacks and suicide bombers. Have served in the army? did you experienced sleepless night in a bomb shelter. Try it first and then comment.

        Reply to Comment
    5. I don’t see how ritualized conflict with soldiers will go very far; it hasn’t to date. I don’t know what would be better, except for some vague notions: it has to be small but capable of growth, not defined as conflict with soldiers, and something which embarrasses authority, if not actual authority on the ground, then abstract authority, more distant. And it has to have the realization that micro failure is part of the path for some time–social support which keeps failure on its feet indefinately. You are looking for a hole in the wall, and you have to stay on your feet a long time before one will appear. The women marches to a spring had something of all this, but I know what finally happened by a 972 report.

      I’m sorry about Ed, above. He’s the latest holy warrior, all excited defending the nation. He has the only true vision and is waiting for everyone else to see so. I’m sure he has a paper telling him how right he is.

      Reply to Comment