Yesterday we went to a demonstration in Kafr Qaddum, a small town west of Nablus. Every Friday residents march down the main street protesting movement restrictions (the road between Kafr Qaddum and Nablus has been blocked for 9 years, adding 14km to the drive) and nearby Israeli settlements. Qaddum is only a few kilometers away from eight illegal settlements. Friday's demonstration was tepid compared to previous demonstrations where soldiers routinely fired upwards of 200 tear gas canisters at protestors a week. Soldiers now refrain from using tear gas at the weekly protest, because a nearby settlement successfully petitioned the Israeli government to stop it's use in the area. The reason being... they did not particularly like the effects of tear gas. Go figure.
|Young demo participants were everywhere.|
|The youngest were often the bravest, out front expressing their frustration.|
|Soldiers are coming! Why? Because Palestinians built small roadblocks of their own... in their own town.|
|It almost seemed choreographed; the soldiers would rush in, and the protestors would turn and run. When the soldiers pulled back the protestors moved forward with a new volley of stones.|
|Anytime a soldier was in range, rocks were thrown, here in unison.|
|For a moment nothing weighed him down.|
|The settlement behind him, a constant reminder of what is being lost.|
The final two images were taken during the weekly Bil'In demonstration. In Bil'In protestors march directly up to the apartheid wall, and chant, while soldiers use tear gas, sound grenades, skunk water, and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd. Every Friday protestors come back for more, this has been ongoing for seven years.
|Unlike Kafr Qaddum tear gas is the weekly norm in Bil'In.|
|Palestinian protestor manages to pick up a live tear gas canister and throw it back over the wall.|