A video uploaded to Facebook on Friday, February 21, shows an Israeli army bulldozer driving at a high speed and pushing large boulders towards Palestinian protesters in the occupied West Bank village of Kafr Qaddum.
Two Palestinians were injured when Israeli forces attacked dozens of protesters taking part in the weekly anti-settlements protest in the village of Kafr Qaddum, near Qalqilia, said Morad Shtewi, coordinator of the popular resistance in the village. During the protest, which deteriorated into violent clashes between Palestinians and occupation troops, an Israeli military bulldozer was videoed rapidly pushing large slabs of stone towards the protesters in the village, endangering their lives. A 9-year-old child identified as Mo’men Shtewi and a Palestine TV photojournalist, Mohammad Enaya, 28, were injured as a result. The child was treated at the scene while the photojournalist was transported to nearby Darwish Nazzal hospital for treatment, where his condition was described as moderate.
Israeli soldiers also attacked the protesters with rubber-coated rounds and teargas canisters to disperse them, causing many to suffer from varying degrees of gas inhalation. For many years, villagers from Kafr Qaddum and neighboring villages have been organizing a nonviolent protest every Friday against illegal Israeli settlements, and to call on Israeli authorities to reopen the village’s main road, which has been sealed by the occupation authorities since 2002.
In addition, at least two Palestinians were injured on Friday when a group of armed settlers raided the village of Ein el-Auja, a small Arab-Bedouin hamlet to the north of Jericho, local sources said. Mahmoud Ghawanmeh, a local rights activist, told WAFA Palestinian news agency that dozens of settlers bearing weapons and accompanied by attack dogs forced their way into the village and attempted to steal livestock belonging to local residents. The settlers clashed with local residents who attempted to fend off their attack. The settlers injured at least two residents of the village. The two, both in their twenties, were brought to nearby Jericho Public Hospital for medical treatment, where their condition was described as moderate.
Ghawanmeh added that shortly after the attack by settlers began, a force of Israeli soldiers entered the village to provide protection for the hoodlums, and while in the village the soldiers briefly detained two Palestinian residents. Like the rest of Palestinian Arab-Bedouin villages in the Jordan Valley region, which makes up one third of the area of the occupied West Bank, the village has been a frequent target of attacks by the Israeli army and settlers. On January 6, an Israeli army unit raided Ein el-Auja, confiscated a number of residential structures, and distributed notices about the pending demolition of many others.