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Right to Education

STATEMENT: Right 2 Education campaign condemns IDF raid on Al Quds University

Written by admin  •  Monday, 27.01.2014, 15:01
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student arrested

Students are arrested by the IDF on the spot

The Right 2 Education campaign condemns the recent raid on Al Quds University and supports the statement made by the Ministry of Higher Education declaring this attack to be “part of a continuous and systematic context of violations against the Palestinian institutions in Jerusalem”.

On the morning of the 22nd of January 2014 Israeli soldiers raided Al-Quds university campus in Abu Dis, violating the students’ right to pursue their education without fear of violence. At 9:30am several Israeli armored cars arrived at the university’s main gate and soldiers demanded to check students’ identity cards. A number of the Israeli soldiers started throwing tear gas bombs inside the campus which injured several students and caused damage to university buildings.

Clashes inevitably took place when some students retaliated by throwing stones at the soldiers to defend themselves from the tear gas and rubber bullets. Students and faculty members were stranded in their classes and offices seeking shelter from the heavy clouds of tear gas filling the air which made it unsafe for them to leave. Students and faculty members were encouraged by the university administration to gather in a safe place in order to avoid further injuries.  It took several hours for anyone to be permitted to exit the university campus from the front three gates, as the gates were occupied by Israeli soldiers and the university security was making efforts to keep students out of harm’s way.

stretchers

Injured students were taken away on stretchers

Seven students were injured by rubber coated steel bullets as a result of these clashes, with two of those being rushed away to receive treatment.  The other five received treatment at the university’s clinic. Ten more suffered respiratory problems as a result of the effects from the tear gas bombs.  Several buildings also suffered moderate damage. Staff in the IT building were stranded for many hours and eventually had to break the emergency door in order to escape.

Al-Quds University and Abu Dis are the site of frequent raids and attacks by Israeli occupation forces, often leading to closures of the university. Israeli occupation forces also raid the dormitories of the university, arresting and terrorising students.  This is far from an irregular occurrence, with the most recent raid prior to this one occurring in November, a week after after last year’s Right to Education Week, an international campaign intended to raise awareness of the obstacles the Israeli occupation places on Palestinian students’ right to an education, obstacles just like this.
Unfortunately, this recent attack on the 22nd of January injured more students and staff than any previous raids in the recent past, and was even more violent and seemingly unprovoked, proving the unhappy realisation that Israeli violations against Palestinian education are escalating.  With around 100 being reportedly affected this time (rising from 40 affected in November) there is an uneasy feeling that the worst is yet to come.

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