On Friday 15th of September the people of Qaryut – a village between Nablus and Ramallah – held a demonstration reasserting their rights over the village spring.
The village is close to the illegal settlements of Eli and Shilo, and every Friday settlers come to wash in the spring. This is a clear act of provocation, aimed at staking a claim on even more of the surrounding land.
There are often clashes between village youth and the settlers at the spring, and the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) protecting them. This week, however, the community had called on other communities to join them in reasserting their rights to the spring. The protest was also over the closure of the main road into the village by the occupation forces. The demonstration began after Friday prayers and marched down from the village toward the spring.
The IOF blocked the road, firing tear gas and rubber coated steel bullets. One man was shot in the face and injured with a rubber coated bullet. Several people were treated by the Red Crescent medical services after inhaling gas.
Settlers could be seen on the hillside watching the army’s repression of the demonstration
The photo above shows the moment a tear gas canister was fired through the window of a building in Qaryut, you can see the gas billowing from inside.
The whole village of Qaryut was flooded with gas fired by the IOF. Canisters rained down onto residents – threatening to cause serious injury
Demonstrators persisted – however – and were eventually able to march to the spring. This video shows them dancing in celebration.
Palestinians from many communities in the West Bank had come to support the people of Qaryut in their demonstration.