In Far’ata we visited our friend H. She told us about harassment by the settlers of Havat Gil’ad suffered by family members living at the edge of the village facing the settlement. We spoke about renewing activities with the village women. H. is fluent in English. At her home we met her young daughter-in-law, a talented young woman who impressed us with her embroidery. Her works are up for sale.
A press photographer, shot in his legs, is hurried to the ambulance
Soldiers getting ready to face the demonstration in Qadoum village
From Far’ata we drove to the demonstration in Qadoum. We arrived at 12:45, during the prayers at the mosque. To our surprise, all was quiet. We could reach the mosque area without any difficulty. This time we saw no soldiers on rooftops. At 13:00 people began to leave the mosque and get organized for their demonstration. Dozens took off, headed by the slogan-crier, towards the army that was situated once more inside the village, on the street facing the settlement of Kedumim.
A “Skunk” vehicle blocked the way, armed soldiers at its side. A small quantity of “skunk” liquid was squirted at the demonstrators. Snipers were seen in firing positions along the hills surrounding the village. The impression was that both sides contemplate each other. At some moment, without any warning, the demonstrators retreated along the house walls, as if anticipating something that was about to happen. A few moments later, a shot was heard, then another. A Palestinian press photographer working for an Italian news agency was shot in his leg twice, thigh and calf. He was immediately placed in an ambulance that was waiting for injury victims. It must be noted that press photographers are very visible among the demonstrators, with the heavy cameras they carry and their special garb that distinguishes them from others – helmets and vests with the word PRESS very visibly noted on their chest. One of the people said, cynically: “The army is about to claim that the photographer threw stones at the soldiers…” Later another two people were shot. They were all taken to Rafidiya hospital in Nablus. An hour or so later we left, while the demonstration was still ongoing.
On road no. 55, several vehicles are seen standing on the curb, with police near Karnei Shomron settlement. Facing the settlement, the army has placed spikes on both sides of the road and we had to slow down. A small demonstration of boys stood at the side of the road. Later on, near the turnoff to Maale Shomron settlement, at another demonstration, girls were seen, holding big signs and calling out loudly –“The People of Israel lives!” Both demonstrations were “secured” by security personnel and armed soldiers.
No military vehicles were seen near Azoun.