Israeli Soldiers Storm Palestinian University (Jan 29, 2016)

Once again the Israeli military has invaded a Palestinian university in the occupied territories. On Friday January 29, 2016,  Israeli soldiers entered Abu Dis’ al-Quds Open University, wrecking facilities and confiscating equipment and documents.  According to Screen Shot 2016-01-30 at 1.51.32 PM“Hassan Dweik, the university’s deputy head, . . . up to 300 soldiers stormed the campus, holding six security guards in a room and preventing them from leaving for two and a half hours. He said the soldiers raided the university’s Islamic studies department, as well as its student union offices after smashing their way through their doors.” (Ma’an News Agency, Jan 30, 2016)

Over the last several months, Israeli military operations have intensified the targeting of Palestinian universities and other civilian institutions in the occupied territories. On a daily basis, Israel’s occupation undermines Palestinian rights to education through the imposition of check points, denial of entry to visiting scholars, and limitations on materials, but the military assaults on the universities constitute extraordinary violation of Palestinian academic freedom. How are Palestinian students and faculty expected to carry out normal academic activities of holding classes, studying and doing research when their universities are subject to military attack? For a full report on the Jan 29, 2016 incident, see “Israeli forces storm al-Quds University, seize documents.”

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