[News] Israeli forces ‘wreak havoc’ in Birzeit University raid

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Wed Dec 14 11:02:39 EST 2016

  Israeli forces ‘wreak havoc’ in Birzeit University raid

Dec. 14, 2016 - http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=774416
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- More than 20 Israeli military vehicles raided the 
campus of Birzeit University in the central occupied West Bank district 
of Ramallah before dawn on Wednesday, with Israeli forces ”leaving a 
great deal of havoc" in their wake, an official university statement said.

After storming the campus through its western gate, Israeli soldiers 
forced campus security guards to stand against the walls, and proceeded 
to raid several buildings, including the university's administration 
building, the student council’s headquarters, Kamal Nasir Hall, and the 
Faculty of Science.

Sources said soldiers smashed the main door of the student council 
building before searching the area and seizing several objects that were 
inside storage units belonging to student blocs.

Students' flags and banners were also confiscated, while property in the 
administrative building and around campus were “sabotaged,” according to 
the university.Birzeit University harshly condemned Israeli forces for 
the “continuation of their barbaric aggression on our people and 
national institutions,” adding that “These blatant attacks and 
subsequent measures of harassment constitute outrageous interferences to 
our right to education.”

However, the statement vowed that the “attacks” would “not deter its 
commitment to higher education, and the pivotal role it has played since 
its establishment.”“The academic freedom of Palestinian academics and 
students is severely hindered, due to the (Israeli) occupation, its 
policies, and continuous defiance of the fundamental rights of our 
people and the sanctity of our universities, and that must be defended,” 
the statement said.An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an they would 
look into reports of the raid.

Birzeit University, which has been rankedthe top university in Palestine 
among the highest ranking universities in the Arab world, has been the 
focus of an Israeli military crackdown a number of times in recent 
months, which increased afterthe Hamas-affiliated Islamic bloc won 
student elections at Birzeit 
<http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=771319> for the past two 
consecutive years.In July, at least 11 Palestinian youths were injured 
after Israeli undercover forces and soldiers opened live fire in the 
campus <http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=772246> amid clashes 
sparked by an Israeli raid to detain a former member of the Islamic 
bloc.At the start of 2016, Israeli military forces raided Birzeit 
<http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=769754>, destroying and 
confiscating university equipment, having detained more than 80 students 
since Oct. 2015 up until that point

Rights groups have widely condemned 
<http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=765290> the concerted detention 
of Islamic bloc members at the university since their initial victory in 
2015, who have also been targeted by Palestinian security forces. The 
Hamas movement is deemed illegal by the Israeli government -- along with 
the majority of Palestinian political factions and movements -- making 
students involved with the Islamic bloc highly vulnerable to raids and 
arbitrary detentions.

Birzeit University noted in their statement Wednesday that Israeli 
forces have also violently raided other Palestinian universities, 
including Palestine Technical University - Kadoori 
<http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=770714>, the Arab American 
University of Jenin <http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=770791>, as 
well as Al-Quds University in Abu Dis. 

"The university calls on the international community and human rights 
organizations to immediately put a stop to these raids and violations, 
and actively engage in supporting our struggle for liberation," Birzeit 
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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