Hadash students held a demonstration in Jerusalem on Monday evening, June 22, in solidarity with students, lecturers and staff of Birzeit University. In recent months Israeli occupation forces have been targeting Palestinian students from the West Bank in general, and from Birzeit University in particular. Since the beginning of the current academic year, Israeli forces have arrested more than 80 Palestinian students who are on the front-line in fighting for the democratic rights and freedom of the Palestinian people.
The protest was held in front of the Russian Compound (“Al-Maskoubiyya”, in Arabic) detention center in West Jerusalem, where hundreds of students are undergoing torture, and cruel and oppressive detention conditions, only for condemning the crimes of the occupation. In Monday’s vigil, Joint List leader MK Ayman Odeh took part as did three other Hadash lawmakers: Youssef Jabareen, Ofer Cassif and Aida Touma-Slima.
In a statement issued by the students from Hadash the activists wrote: “These unprecedented and ongoing attacks against student and union activities by the forces of occupation have been exacerbated in a new wave of administrative arrests. Aside from the conditions of detention and abuse, under administrative detention the students face brutal torture, while being prevented from meeting with their lawyers and families. Their detention can be arbitrarily extended without charges being filled against them or being brought to trial, a policy that grossly violates international law.”
Israel Demolishes Home of Birzeit Professor
In keeping with its barbaric aggression against Palestine, its people, and academics, Israeli occupation forces demolished the home of Widad Barghouthi, a media professor at Birzeit University, in the early morning hours of May 11, 2020. Heavily armed forces raided Kobar, the village where she and her family reside, and a bulldozer demolished the top floor of the two-story building in which they live.
Israeli occupation forces had warned Barghouthi in early February of their intention to demolish her family’s home, after Barghouthi had been released from four months of administrative detention that began on September 1, 2019.
Call for Denunciation of Israel and Support for Palestinians
A spokesperson for Birzeit University said in a statement: “The attacks on academics, students and their property should be seen in the context of the continuous harassment and arrests that are being carried out by Israeli occupation forces, violating Palestinian academic freedom. These measures are being conducted in parallel to extensive restrictions on movement that prevent all Palestinians from accessing education and limit the access of international guests and academics. The university calls on academic institutions and human rights organizations to call for an immediate cessation of all these violations and actively support the Palestinian struggle for liberation.”