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The Right to Education Campaign expresses its grave concern over the Israeli Occupying forces arrest to one of the Right to Education volunteers Abdulghani Zebn-Khasib, a third-year student in the Faculty of Business and Economics. On March 4, 2019, and during dawn, the occupying forces arrested Zebn, from his house at Mazare’ Al Nubani village near Ramallah.
The Right to Education Campaign expresses its concern regarding this arrest. Zebn has recently got out of the hospital as he suffers from a critical health problem, and needs to take medication on regular bases. This attack is a supreme violation of this student’s rights: his right to life, liberty and pursuit of equality. Palestinians aspire to live by the values of democracy, freedom of speech and respect for human rights, and these violations will not deter its commitment to higher education, and the pivotal role it has played since its establishment.
These regular attacks are part of systematic oppressive measures aimed at undermining the foundation of our education system, violating basic human rights, terrorizing our youth into submission, especially those who are part of Birzeit University’s youth activism. Between 2012 and 2018, the Israeli occupation arrested and kidnapped over 20 members of the student council; four of them were the head of the student council at the time of arrest.
This situation escalated during the past academic year (2017-2018), when, and for the first time, an undercover Israeli army unit infiltrated Birzeit University’s main campus, during classroom hours, and arrested Omar Kiswani, a 24-year-old political science student and the head of the university’s student council. Since 2004, around 800 of the university’s students have been arrested at one time, among them 16 female students. Currently, over 70 students are detained in Israeli prisons, many under administrative detention with no charges.
Such outrageous acts are categorical violation of international laws and norms, which all forbid any violation against the basic right of people to the right of education. The right to education is a fundamental human right as established in Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The Right to Education Campaign, founded in 1988, call upon all international organizations, all parliamentary representatives, decision makers and university communities to hold Israel accountable for the crime of breaching the Palestinian youth’s right to education and to take an immediate action to stop Israel’s repressive measures against Palestinians and assert their basic rights to learn, grow and prosper freely and independently.