Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Barred Entry of Foreign Academics Hindering Palestinian Education

IMEMC News & Agencies | August 3, 2018

The Campaign for the Right to Enter the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Thursday, expressed deep concern at the rise in Israeli denial, of work or stay visa applications, for foreign nationals seeking to enter the occupied territories, saying this measure is hurting Palestinian education.

The group said, in a press release, that, in June, seven international faculty members at Birzeit University (BZU) — one-third of the international staff at the university — were refused visa extensions by the Israeli authorities; several others have already been obliged to leave the country, according to WAFA.

This policy, it added, “has severely diminished opportunities for development of faculty, courses, and research programs at Palestinian institutes of higher education.”

The Campaign said that, while international academics seeking to enter or work in the occupied Palestinian territory have long faced obstacles, the situation has dramatically worsened, over the past year. Since 2017, foreign nationals wishing to maintain a presence in the occupied territories, whether for reasons of work or family unity, have faced an alarming escalation in the rejection of visa extension requests and in the frequency and range of arbitrary demands and conditions imposed by Israeli authorities.

“Palestinian educational institutions have been hard hit by Israeli denials or restrictions on entry and presence in the occupied Palestinian territories,” it said, explaining that this has caused serious disruption to the academic programs and administration of these institutions, and “has undermined Palestinian universities’ ability to attract further external expertise as foreign academics are deterred from accepting teaching and research posts by the arbitrary rejections and destructive restrictions imposed by the Israeli authorities.”

The Campaign called for an immediate halt to Israel’s practices and “arbitrary and abusive practice of denying entry to foreign nationals traveling to the occupied Palestinian territories to promote educational development,” urging the international community to “stand with us in protecting the Palestinian people’s right to education.”

August 3, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | 1 Comment

Israeli soldiers pose as news crew to abduct student leader from West Bank university

RT | March 8, 2018

Disguised Israeli forces have stormed Birzeit University in the occupied West Bank and seized the head of the university’s student council. Two students were reportedly injured by gunfire during the raid.

Omar Kiswani was taken by soldiers who reportedly posed as journalists. The university posted footage of Wednesday’s raid online, showing a group of six men pinning Kiswani down and pointing their guns at onlookers.

According to the university, the attackers “carrying firearms in their backpacks, entered the campus during working hours and attacked the student in front of the Student Council Building.” It also called the operation a “barbaric intrusion” and said that two students were recovering in hospital after being injured when the Israeli forces fired into the campus.

Student council member Yahya Alawi, who witnessed the abduction, told the Palestinian Quds News Network that the Israelis “identified Omar and called over to him as if they wanted to interview him as journalists.” Alawi said they then “beat [Kiswani], pulled out their weapons, and a large group of occupation soldiers stormed through the main entrance of the university.”

The Union of Journalists in Israel issued a statement condemning the soldiers impersonation saying that they were “troubled” by “undercover forces impersonating a news crew at Bir Zeit University.” The union added: “Such behavior is likely to endanger real journalists doing their jobs and strikes a blow at freedom of the press. Journalistic work is important and journalists must not be endangered, even in order to conduct security operations.”

This is not the first time 24-year-old Kiswani has been arrested. He previously spent a year in prison for his participation in a group affiliated with Hamas on campus. Following his abduction on Wednesday, Israeli army troops covered the plainclothes operatives’ departure from the scene, firing shots at a group of students throwing stones.

“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,” the university’s Right to Education Campaign wrote in a statement.

March 9, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Undercover Israeli forces detain 2 students from Birzeit University

Ma’an – February 2, 2017

undercover_abduct-e1486045796143RAMALLAH – Israeli special forces disguised themselves as Palestinians and “kidnapped” two Palestinian students at the entrance of Birzeit University in the occupied West Bank district of Ramallah on Thursday afternoon, according to a statement released by the university.

The two students were identified as Tawfiq Abu Arqub, a coordinator for the Hamas-affiliated Islamic student bloc at the university, and Basel Falaneh, the secretary of specialities committee of the student council. They were studying computer science and business, respectively.

Birzeit University released a statement after the incident, saying that the two students were detained at the western gate of the university by “a number of [Israeli] soldiers.” Locals also told Ma’an that the students were forced into a vehicle “at gunpoint,” while also pointing guns at other students in the area.

The head of the university’s security, Muhammad Rimawi, stated that Israeli forces had “intercepted” a car that Abu Arqub and Falaneh were riding in, according to the statement, when “a number of undercover occupying forces took the students out of the car and kidnapped them.”

“This is neither new nor unprecedented given the ongoing colonial aggression against the people and institutions of Palestine,” the statement said.

The statement called the incident an “outrageous act of violence,” and part of a larger Israeli campaign resulting in the “rapid arrests” of students.

“This violation of our students’ right to learn is a part of a systematic attack on the right of education and freedom of expression,” the statement added.

The university’s Dean of Student Affairs Muhammad al-Ahmad also said in the statement that Israel’s “repressive measures” against all Palestinians and specifically students “shall only strengthen international efforts in support of an academic boycott of Israeli institutions.”

“The University condemns these outrageous acts in the strongest possible terms and calls upon all international and human rights organizations to speak this truth loudly in the face of these violations immediately and without reserve and to stand in solidarity with our struggle,” the statement concluded.

Birzeit University, ranked the top university in Palestine and among the highest-ranking universities in the Arab world, has been the focus of an Israeli military crackdown in recent months, which increased after the Hamas-affiliated Islamic bloc won student elections at Birzeit last year for the second consecutive year.

In December, more than 20 Israeli military vehicles raided the campus before dawn, forced campus security guards to stand against walls, and proceeded to raid several buildings, including the university’s administration building, the student council’s headquarters, Kamal Nasir Hall, and the Faculty of Science.

Another incident occurred in July, when at least 11 Palestinian youths were injured after Israeli undercover forces and soldiers opened live fire on the campus amid clashes sparked by an Israeli raid to detain a former member of the Islamic bloc.

At the start of 2016, Israeli military forces also raided Birzeit, destroying and confiscating university equipment. It was reported at the time that Israeli forces had detained more than 80 students between Oct. 2015 and the start of 2016.

Rights groups have widely condemned the concerted detention of Islamic bloc members at the university since their initial victory in 2015.

The Hamas movement is deemed illegal by the Israeli government — along with the majority of Palestinian political factions and movements — making students involved with the Islamic bloc vulnerable to raids and arbitrary detentions. Members have also been targeted by Palestinian security forces.

February 2, 2017 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Israeli forces ‘wreak havoc’ in Birzeit University raid

Ma’an – December 14, 2016

RAMALLAH – More than 20 Israeli military vehicles raided the campus of Birzeit University in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah before dawn on Wednesday, with Israeli forces “leaving a great deal of havoc” in their wake, an official university statement said.

After storming the campus through its western gate, Israeli soldiers forced campus security guards to stand against the walls, and proceeded to raid several buildings, including the university’s administration building, the student council’s headquarters, Kamal Nasir Hall, and the Faculty of Science.

Sources said soldiers smashed the main door of the student council building before searching the area and seizing several objects that were inside storage units belonging to student blocs.

Students’ flags and banners were also confiscated, while property in the administrative building and around campus were “sabotaged,” according to the university.

Birzeit University harshly condemned Israeli forces for the “continuation of their barbaric aggression on our people and national institutions,” adding that “These blatant attacks and subsequent measures of harassment constitute outrageous interferences to our right to education.”

However, the statement vowed that the “attacks” would “not deter its commitment to higher education, and the pivotal role it has played since its establishment.”

“The academic freedom of Palestinian academics and students is severely hindered, due to the (Israeli) occupation, its policies, and continuous defiance of the fundamental rights of our people and the sanctity of our universities, and that must be defended,” the statement said.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an they would look into reports of the raid.

Birzeit University, which has been ranked the top university in Palestine and among the highest ranking universities in the Arab world, has been the focus of an Israeli military crackdown a number of times in recent months, which increased after the Hamas-affiliated Islamic bloc won student elections at Birzeit for the past two consecutive years.

In July, at least 11 Palestinian youths were injured after Israeli undercover forces and soldiers opened live fire in the campus amid clashes sparked by an Israeli raid to detain a former member of the Islamic bloc.

At the start of 2016, Israeli military forces raided Birzeit, destroying and confiscating university equipment, having detained more than 80 students since Oct. 2015 up until that point.

Rights groups have widely condemned the concerted detention of Islamic bloc members at the university since their initial victory in 2015, who have also been targeted by Palestinian security forces. The Hamas movement is deemed illegal by the Israeli government — along with the majority of Palestinian political factions and movements — making students involved with the Islamic bloc highly vulnerable to raids and arbitrary detentions.

Birzeit University noted in their statement Wednesday that Israeli forces have also violently raided other Palestinian universities, including Palestine Technical University – Kadoori, the Arab American University of Jenin, as well as Al-Quds University in Abu Dis.

“The university calls on the international community and human rights organizations to immediately put a stop to these raids and violations, and actively engage in supporting our struggle for liberation,” Birzeit stated.

December 14, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Birzeit University Condemns Denial of Entry to UK Academic

Birzeit University Official Statement – September 17, 2016

Birzeit University condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the denial of entry to Dr. Adam Hanieh, who was invited by the Ph.D. Program in the Social Sciences at Birzeit University to deliver a series of lectures at the university.

Dr. Hanieh, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, was deported back to London on the morning of September 13, 2016. He was held for questioning for 10 hours at Ben Gurion airport, and then taken overnight to a detention centre outside the airport. In addition to being refused entry, Dr. Hanieh was banned from entering the country for ten years.

Dr. Hanieh was scheduled to share his vast knowledge of global and Middle East political economy with students in the Ph.D. program as well as the university community in a series of lectures scheduled in the coming two weeks.  Hanieh is an accomplished scholar, the author of Lineages of Revolt: Issues of Contemporary Capitalism in the Middle East (Haymarket Books, 2013) and Capitalism and Class in the Gulf Arab States (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), as well as numerous academic articles.

This act of denial of entry and deportation by the Israeli state and its agencies is part of a systematic policy of denial of entry to international academics, professionals and activists intending to visit Palestine. This policy represents an attack on Palestinian academic freedom, and is routinely practiced at the two entry points, the airport in Tel Aviv and the Jordan valley crossing from Jordan.

Birzeit University is not surprised by this latest instance of the policy, and hereby draws attention to its destructive effects. Birzeit University, determined to be part of the international academy, has been once again denied the opportunity to engage with an international academic who would have enriched its academic programs.

September 17, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | Leave a comment

Hamas bloc wins over student vote in Birzeit University elections

377659C

Ma’an – April 28, 2016

RAMALLAH – A student bloc of the Hamas movement on Wednesday came out on top in the closely-followed elections at Birzeit University in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.

Following debates between factions vying for the student vote, the pro-Hamas al-Wafaa Islamic bloc claimed victory after gaining 25 seats, with the Yasser Arafat bloc of the Fatah movement trailing behind with 21 seats.

The bloc representing Leftist movement Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine for its part came out with five seats, while other leftist parties including the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Palestinian People’s Party did not receive enough votes to garner a seat.

Voter turnout was reported as 76 percent of the student body.

The Islamic bloc last year won elections for the first time since 2007 at the historically staunchly pro-Fatah campus, taking observers by surprise.

As this year marked ten years since the last national elections, university elections are seen as important indicators of public opinion by political commentators in Palestine and Birzeit is considered to be the most important campus in the yearly political contests.

The Hamas movement congratulated the Islamic bloc for its win at Birzeit and said the victory was an indicator that the movement still had strong sway among the Palestinian public.

The Gaza-based movement said the win came despite efforts by both the Israeli authorities and Palestinian Authority to suppress the Hamas vote, citing the detention of Student Council President Saif al-Islam Daghlas and other students.

Human Rights Watch last year slammed the PA for detaining Palestinian university students across the West Bank after elections “for no apparent reason other than their connection to Hamas or their opinions.”

Hamas’ victory over Fatah comes as the rival factions have shown continued failure to follow through on with attempts to form a unity government since April 2014, after being on cold terms since 2006 when Hamas won the Palestinian legislative elections.

In the following year, violent clashes erupted between Fatah and Hamas, leaving Hamas in control of Gaza and Fatah in control of the occupied West Bank.

Factional disputes between Palestinian factions have been on the rise since a wave of unrest erupted across the occupied Palestinian territory in October.

Hamas and PFLP in particular have lambasted the PA’s ongoing security coordination with Israel as an alleged attempt to quash resistance against the Israeli occupation, while Hamas last summer accused the PA of attempting to eradicate the movement from the West Bank.

Elections haven’t been held in the occupied Palestinian territory for ten years and the public has grown increasingly disillusioned with Palestinian political parties.

Frustration has grown among the youth in particular, with growing numbers showing preference for participating in demonstrations or resistance that are not affiliated with any political party.

April 28, 2016 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment

Israeli forces raid, confiscate items from Jenin-area university

372055C

Ma’an – March 22, 2016

JENIN – Israeli forces overnight Monday raided the campus of the Arab American University in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin and confiscated items — including computers and flags — from student union offices.

The university’s public relations department told Ma’an that 11 Israeli military vehicles stormed the campus grounds at 1 a.m. and broke into the office of the Dean of Students, as well as a number of offices belonging to the student union.

The Israeli soldiers broke down doors and destroyed property in the offices before seizing flags of student union blocs as well as two computers and paper documents, the department said.

The university’s administration released a statement denouncing “Israel’s aggressive policy which violates the sanctity of university campus.”

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah immediately condemned the raid.

“This is not the first time that the Arab American University and other Palestinian educational institutions have been subjected to arbitrary Israeli raids,” the PM said, citing raids on Birzeit University and the Kadoorie Institute in recent months.

“I reiterate our call for international protection,” Hamdallah said. “Israel should not be allowed to continue to act above the law. The international community witnessed yet another violation of the sanctity of Palestinian educational institutions, and it should not remain silent.”

The Israeli army said in a statement that Israeli forces had “uncovered and confiscated inciting propaganda materials linked to multiple terror organizations including Hamas” inside the university, adding that the operation was “based on intelligence information.”

“In the recent wave of terror we’ve witnessed how incitement fuels acts of violence and terrorism,” the statement said. “Efforts as this prevent future attacks.”

In addition to the statement, the army released what it said were “visuals from the overnight activity” — photographs of an Islamic Jihad flag and a Hamas one, as well as a poster depicting three recently slain Palestinian attackers, referred to as “martyrs.”

Political flags and posters are commonly found items across the occupied West Bank, with posters of martyrs appearing throughout every West Bank town and village.

Palestinian universities and their students in the occupied West Bank are frequently targeted by Israeli military forces, and campuses have come under increased military presence since an increase in violence in October.

Earlier this month Israeli forces raided the Khadoorie Institute — also known as Palestine Technical University — twice in an 18-hour period.

The Tulkarem-area campus has seen heavy military presence in the past. Student-organized marches in October to protest Israeli violations and raids onto the campus eventually resulted in Israeli forces positioning themselves at a temporary base on university property.

Dozens of university students have been injured by Israeli military forces since.

Birzeit University near Ramallah meanwhile has reported dozens of student detentions, while Abu Dis’ al-Quds Open University has often found itself a focal point of violent clashes between Palestinian students and Israeli soldiers.

March 22, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Israeli forces raid Tulkarem-area university twice in 18 hours

Ma’an – March 15, 2016

TULKAREM – Israeli forces on Tuesday raided al-Khadouri University in the northern occupied West Bank district of Tulkarem for the second consecutive day, the university’s administration said in a statement.

The administration said Israeli forces raided the university on Monday, forcing staff to open the main doors of the university’s engineering department. During the raid forces reportedly ransacked the building and seized posters and brochures from the campus.

Eighteen hours later, on Tuesday, the administration said Israeli forces returned, and ransacked more of the campus.

The university administration condemned the “Israeli violations against the university.”

The administration urged that international organizations take action against Israel’s disregard for education facilities.

Israeli forces have regularly stormed university campuses across the occupied Palestinian territory in recent months.

Since a wave of unrest swept the occupied Palestinian territory in October, Abu Dis’ Al-Quds University in particular has found itself a focal point of violent clashes between Palestinian students and Israeli soldiers.

On January 29, Hundreds of Israeli soldiers stormed Abu Dis’ al-Quds Open University and confiscated equipment and documents belonging to its student union.

Earlier in January, Birzeit University in Ramallah condemned an Israeli army raid into its campus, during which Israeli forces confiscated and damaged university equipment.

“Birzeit University condemns this attack and the direct violation of the sanctity of the university campus,” the university said. “This is a belligerent military attack on the university and our right to education and all the principles involved in the freedom of education.”

March 16, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | 1 Comment