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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.
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.