PLO denounces Israeli attack on college campus
Dr. Ashrawi: The Israeli army’s assault on Birzeit University campus is a grave violation and a dangerous escalation. Birzeit University officials plea for protection at their educational institution from Israeli settler and military terrorist attacks. Video shows brutality of Israeli terrorism against students, similar to Israel’s assault against children
PLO Executive Committee Member and Birzeit University’s Board of Trustees Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi strongly condemned Israel’s violent raid on Birzeit University yesterday and said:
The storming of Birzeit University campus in broad daylight and the violent abduction of its Student Council President Omar Al-Kiswani by undercover Israeli agents (Al Musta’ribin), are part of Israel’s ongoing policy targeting Palestinian educational institutions, violating academic campuses and kidnapping students and infringing on academic freedom as a whole with full impunity, including the fundamental right to education and other human rights enshrined in international law and conventions.
This latest incident is part of an ongoing policy in which Israel willfully targets and undermines academic freedoms in schools and universities and deprives our younger generations from exercising their right to education and achieving a brighter future free of military occupation, violence and oppression.
Furthermore, the fact that these Israeli operatives were disguised as journalists is entirely reprehensible. UNESCO Resolutions, Decisions, and Declarations on the Safety of Journalists must be respected and Israel must be held accountable in order to ensure it will refrain from repeating such illegal policies.
We call on all governments, UNESCO, the academic community worldwide, and people of conscience to act to guarantee that Palestinian students and educational institutions are safeguarded once and for all, and to bring Israel to account for its flagrant breach of international law and international humanitarian law, primarily the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, the 1949 Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols, and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. We urge them to form an independent international commission of inquiry to investigate the unlawful violations and egregious crimes committed by the Israeli occupation.
Video of the Israeli terrorist attack:
In shock at the brazen terrorist attack on an institution of higher learning, Birzeit University officials released this statement:
A group of Israeli operatives, disguised as Palestinian college students, abducted the head of the Student Council from Birzeit University’s campus on March 7, 2018.
The kidnappers, carrying firearms in their backpacks, entered the campus during working hours and attacked the student in front of the Student Council Building, located at the center of the campus. The operatives forced and pinned the student to the ground while firing their weapons, endangering lives.
Protecting this group’s intrusion into the university was an armed Israeli army unit. The unit detained the university’s guards in the guards’ room and proceeded to use their firearms against the students while providing cover for the kidnapping operation.
This is not the first violent intrusion by Israeli army forces, who systematically invade the university’s campus – even though it is specifically protected under international humanitarian law – and constantly harass students, faculty members, and staff at Birzeit University and other Palestinian educational institutions.
We call upon the academic community to support human rights and protest against these aggressions, which defy all international norms, laws, and rights, and endanger civilians protected under international humanitarian law.
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