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The Right to Education Campaign –
A Statement Regarding Israeli Army’s Raid on Birzeit University’s Campus and Arrest of Students
The Right to Education Campaign at Birzeit University condemns the Israeli army’s raid on Birzeit University’s campus that took place on January 11, 2016. This is a clear violation of all internationally upheld principles and conventions that forbid interference in academic facilities and assault on it.
Scores of Israeli military vehicles raided the University’s campus at 02:50 in the morning by breaking through the western gate lock. They broke into the Student Union Offices and confiscated all the computers. The army detained the university security personnel as they stormed into university buildings. Following the raid on the main Student Union Offices and confiscation of its possessions, the Israeli army raided the Student Union Offices in Al-Maktoom building. They seized all its contents of flags, banners, microphones, speakers, leaflets and brochures. Israeli soldiers then broke into the Faculty of Science building, smashed a number of students closets and seized another four closets.
Birzeit University commented in a press release on this vicious violation of its campus: “the university is deeply concerned by this barbaric violation. It deplores the transforming of its campus to a military barrack and seized the students’ properties after invaded it by more than fifteen military vehicles and smashing the lock of the gate of the western entrance of the university. Then the inspection in the faculty of science and breaking in the students’ council after broke its doors and the students store in Al-Maktoom building” (this is from the previous statement: perhaps this is a better place to quote from:
Birzeit University condemns this attack and the direct violation of the sanctity of the university campus. This is a belligerent military attack on the university and our right to education and all the principles involved in the freedom of education.
As the Israeli army was storming Birzeit University campus, another group of Israeli soldiers attacked the house of Osaid Albana; a third year student of law and a member of the Student Union executive. With Osaid’s arrest, the number of Birzeit University students detained in Israeli prisons reaches 80 students, including both men and women. A number of these students are held under administrative detention (for a renewable six months period and without a charge). Since the beginning of this latest uprising in October 2015 twenty-five Birzeit University students have been arrested.
This raid on the university campus, destruction of facilities and arrest of students is part and parcel of Israel’s on-going colonial oppression against the Palestinian people, institutions and land of Palestine. Israel’s violations of the rights of the Palestinians, in every aspect, continues under the eyes and ears of the world. Similar brutality and viciousness was practiced against both Al-Khadoury University and al Quds University in Abu Dis.
The Right to Education Campaign at Birzeit University calls upon all conscientious individuals and groups around the world to actively engage in supporting our struggle for liberation from colonialism through joining the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. We also urge students and academics to highlight Israel’s continued colonial violations within their campuses and beyond as well as lobby their parliamentary representatives to hold Israel accountable for its violation of the rights of the Palestinians.
According to the General Declaration of Human Rights, the right of education is a guaranteed right to every human. But Israel defies all the international norms by preventing Palestinian students from continuing their education through arrests, closing the roads and the ongoing invasions of institutions of higher learning in Palestine.