6 February 2012 | International Solidarity Movement, West Bank
As of 2:00 PM today it was reported that two army jeeps were still on site in Kufr Qaddoum, in addition to one police jeep, while illegal settlers had left the scene of today’s violent incursion.
Abu Ashraf, pictured below being dragged by Israeli military, is now in a local hospital with injuries sustained to the head and wrists. It is reported he was hit by military on the left side of his forehead leaving an open wound and bruising. His hands were also tightly handcuffed in plastic, leaving bruising to the wrists.
Abu Ashraf was defending his family’s land as it was being invaded by settlers from nearby illegal settlements and was met with violence. Settlers plowed this land under the protection of Israeli military.
Another 60 year old woman was also wounded by Israel’s violent intrusion into Kufr Qaddoum, after Israeli forces twisted her arm. She was treated on the scene by paramedics.*
Abu Ashraf is in a local hospital, recovering.
On February 5 the residents of Kufr Qaddoum noticed several soldiers and illegal settlers on their lands who were plotting how to illegally seize land from the village. Upon arrival, International Solidarity Movement received word that indeed the colonizers were planning an action to seize land today.
Early this morning over 20 Israeli soldiers and Zionist settlers descended up on Kufr Qaddoum’s lands, arresting local villager Abu Ashraf, and dragging him off. Settlers were seen plowing through the land with bulldozers and military present.
In a collaboration between military and illegal settlers, the main road that Kufr Qaddoum has been advocating to open through its weekly peaceful demonstrations has also been reportedly seized, while illegal, Zionist settlers are currently planting trees in the newly plowed land under the protection of the Israeli military.
Every Friday Kufr Qaddoum has held peaceful demonstrations to reopen their main road. On January 21 the village celebrated their success in peacefully pushing back Israeli Occupation Forces for the second week in a row as they tried to reclaim access to this road.
Kufr Qaddoum is hedged in on most sides by Israeli Jewish settlements, illegal according to international law, the 1993 Oslo Accords, and in some cases even Israeli law. Theft of nearly 2/3 of land associated with these settlements (1100 ha of the 1900 ha pre-1967 original), combined with the Apartheid Wall and closures of multiple access points in the last 12 years, have choked the local economy and driven people from the community (according to POICA and the Land Resource Center). During 2003, in the midst of the Second Intifada, the Israeli military closed off the main road leading to the village, doubling the transit time to Nablus. After 6 years of court cases and a ruling supportive of villager’s rights–but still no results–the Popular Committee of Kufr Qaddoum decided to press the issue with a series of weekly protests which began in July, 2011.
Organizers in the village are currently determining future steps and actions in light of the Zionist invasion upon their lands and call upon the Palestinian and international community to support their village and Palestine against illegal Israeli Occupation.
*Correction: The original article stated that the women injured was taken to the hospital. This has been replaced with the fact that she was treated on the scene by paramedics.