9th January 2015 | International Solidarity Movement, Nablus team | Kufr Qaddum, Occupied Palestine
Dozens of demonstrators braved the rain today to protest the continued closure of the Kufr Qaddum’s main road to Nablus.
A peaceful march began at noon after prayers ended. Villagers, alongside Israeli and international activists, walked up Kafr Qaddam’s main street as soldiers looked on from about 100 metres away. Within minutes the first rounds of tear gas were fired. The wet weather and high winds only worsened the effects of the tear gas, which was blown in all directions, making it impossible to avoid.
A local organizer and Kufr Qaddam resident ended the demonstration by a call to all gathered (translated), “Even in the snow, even in the bad weather we will keep resisting, to open our road… The amount of people gathered today, even in this weather, shows how powerful we are.”
Villagers have been demonstrating every week for three years with one simple demand: to re-open the road that is the village’s main route to Nablus. The road has been closed for Palestinian access due to the neighbouring illegal Israeli settlement, Qedumin. Alternative routes add an extra 20 minutes onto the journey time to Nablus – a nuisance which costs both time and money and presents a real danger in emergency situations.
Despite the tear gas and Israeli military presence in the village, today’s demonstration will be seen by many as a “quiet” one. In recent weeks, the Israeli military have used live ammunition against demonstrators, injuring many.