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Settlers and Israeli military team up to intimidate Kufr Qaddoum

6 September 2011 | International Solidarity Movement, West Bank

On the 5th and 6th of September, settlers from the illegal settlement of Qadumim entered Kufr Qaddum in an act of blatant provocation. The settlers were encouraged to leave by a spontaneous demonstration from the villagers who left their houses and rallied in the centre of Kufr Qaddoum.

The Israeli army punished the people of Kufr Qaddoum for exercising their rights by invading the village during the night. Over 500 soldiers entered the village shortly after midnight from all entry points and began making their way through the village. Three Palestinians, named Mouriya Mohammed, Kaib Kadumi and Khaber Juma were arrested. During the arrest of Kaib Kadumi, he was handcuffed, blindfolded and lead into the olive groves outside of the village. None of those who were arrested appear to have been charged with anything and their whereabouts are still unknown.

This was the first invasion into Kufr Qaddoum since the village began to demonstrate non violently against the closure of their road. The road closure, which happened in 2002, has claimed the lives of 3 villagers who were being taken in an ambulance towards the hospital in Nablus but were denied passage by the Israeli army. Their names are Fahmi Aquel (2003), Khadra Shtaiwi (2004) and Ammen Tayem (2004).

The arrests continued on the 6th of September when the army re-entered the village and carried arrested of Faris Nidel (age 19) and Nedar Ahmed (age 20). In this incursion the Israeli forces targeted houses in the village and damaged them.

Threats were also given to some of the leading members of the local Popular Committee during the invasion, stating that if the non violent demonstrations were to continue then the demonstrators would be met with live ammunition and the intent to kill. It is clear that these invasions are an act of intimidation and an attempt to suppress the growing enthusiasm, support and participation in the weekly demonstration.