Israeli forces shot a 12-year-old Palestinian boy with a rubber-coated steel bullet during clashes in the village of Kafr Qaddum west of Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank on Saturday afternoon, January 21. The spokesman for the village’s local popular committee, Murad Shteiwi, told the Palestinian news agency that 12-year-old Awad Mansour was shot in the hand during clashes as Israeli troops forcibly dispersed a rally held in the village to protest settlements and to urge Israeli authorities to reopen a road that was closed there 14 years ago.
According to Shteiwi, Israeli troops stormed the village firing live ammunition and rubber-coated steel bullets as they chased Palestinian youth through alleyways. He added that soldiers detained 40-year-old Mamoon Shteiwi. Just a day earlier, Israeli forces suppressed another protest in Kafr Qaddum
Hundreds of Palestinians have been detained during the demonstrations in Kafr Qaddum since they first began in 2011, and at least 84 protesters have been injured by live fire, including 12 children, Shteiwi told Ma’an during a similar protest last year. Some 120 others have been detained at demonstrations and were subsequently held in Israeli custody for periods ranging between 4 and 24 months. When he previously spoke with Ma’an last year, Shteiwi also indicated that residents have also collectively paid fines totaling some 25,000 shekels (approximately $6,488). Over the course of five years, an elderly protester was killed after suffering from excessive tear gas inhalation, one youth lost his eyesight, and another his ability to speak, he added.
Last week, Israel also once again suppressed the weekly march in the village of Bilin in the occupied West Bank district of Ramallah which has taken place every Friday for nearly 12 years to protest the Israeli separation wall and illegal settlements. The January 21 weekly protest was also dedicated as an act of solidarity with the Bedouin village of Umm Hiran in central Israel, which was violently raided by Israeli forces on Wednesday, January 19, leaving a local teacher and an Israeli police officer dead, before Israeli forces demolished several homes in the “unrecognized” village. The organizers of last Friday’s march in Bilin also dedicated it to protesting Donald Trump’s support for moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.