28 June 2011 | International Solidarity Movement
On Tuesday June 28, ISM visited the village of Kufr Qaddoum in northern Nablus following a call for action after 6 years of no active demonstrations.
Abdul Ra’ouf Hamsa, representative of the local council, and his assistant, Saqer Obwed, explained to ISM the main problem faced by the villagers. Since 2003 the closest way to access Nablus is a road that was closed first by the settlers and then by the army without any reason or warning. For the past eight years, the villagers have been taking another road to go to Nablus. A ride that used to take ten minutes now takes more than half an hour. Their expenses have increased. The blockade made their lives harder. The cost of transportation increased a lot for the villagers, specially for those who study daily in Nablus.
Hamsa explained that they used to organize demonstrations against the blockade of the road six years ago and then decided to take the issue to the Israeli Court.
After awaiting a court decision for years, eight months ago the villagers received a positive response that allowed them to use the road again, but the Israeli Court claimed that the road is not “suitable” or safe for transportation. With Israel demonstrating a lack of action on their part for the past eight months, the villagers have decided it’s time to start the demonstrations again.
Kufr Qaddoum is located in northern Nablus, with a population of about 3,500 inhabitants. More than half of the village’s land, approximately 11,800 dunams, is situated in area C which means that the Palestinians need permission to work there from the Israeli District Coordinating Office. Villagers often complain about s harassment from from the nearby illegal settlement of Qadumim, built in 1976.