Palestinian universities between Israeli targeting and “defusing” policies

Palestinian universities between Israeli targeting and “defusing” policies

Ramallah – “Al-Quds Al-Arabi”: The occupation patrols left, at dawn on Tuesday, from Birzeit University near Ramallah, after confiscating student equipment, models and tools used by student blocs in military parades they organize with the aim of student blocs celebrating the launch of the parties to which they belong.

However, this parade of military patrols did not stop the Islamic bloc’s celebration of its 34th launch, nor did the university students participate in the celebration. The message carried by the intrusion did not reach, as the bloc organized a paramilitary “parade” (with wooden weapons, models, and paper missiles) with the participation of a large number of university students from different organizations and factions.

Charged activities

Before the parade celebration, students affiliated with the bloc smashed a glass door that was closed by the university administration in order to prevent the members of the bloc from carrying out the show, which allowed them to access the objects and tools.

The students held the university administration responsible for what members of the Islamic bloc did, as they considered opening the student activities hall “natural and obligatory,” and called on the university to give up student activities “because they are a national heritage that we refuse to distort or subject to any policies.”

Two days ago, the Student Pole bloc, representing the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, organized a military parade to celebrate the 54th anniversary of the launch of the Front. During the parade, the students raised models of missiles with the inscription “Wadih Al-Barq”, and the students carried cardboard explosive devices, and raised slogans, “The Front will not die if they put it in the coffin.”

As for the Islamic bloc’s show, which was launched under the name “Sword of Jerusalem,” it was crowded and filled with huge green banners, despite the confiscation by the occupation soldiers.

The text of a message sent by an unknown phone number, believed to be behind the Israeli Shin Bet, included a warning message that reached the phones of thousands of Birzeit University students warning them not to participate in the activities of the Islamic Bloc, the student arm of Hamas, particularly in commemoration of its launch.

According to the text of the letter: “We would like to remind you that participating in any activities related to the day of the founding of Hamas is an illegal act, and it will entail severe punishment, and will lead to delaying your studies and harming you in the future, and those who have been warned have been excused.”

All this came after two weeks of intensifying the discussion about the state of Palestinian universities and their transformations, following the increase in student violence incidents in more than one university, but the practices of the occupation brought the discussion back to its first square, that is, to the square of the occupation and targeting of universities after the storming operation, which reflects an Israeli desire to target The activities of the Palestinian resistance, which are seen as coming directly from incitement based in the universities in the first place.

Condemnation and defiance

Birzeit University condemned the Israeli incursion, and denounced the attack on the guards. She said that tampering and sabotaging the university’s contents is a flagrant violation of the norms and covenants that prohibit attacks on academic facilities.

The university published another publication on its Facebook page, in which it said that “the bombs of the occupation at Birzeit University will not silence our throats.”

Later, a sit-down was organized in front of the Faculty of Science at Birzeit University, during which the university president raised the Palestinian flag that was brought down by the occupation soldiers during their storming of the university campus.

University President Bishara Doumani said: “The occupation forces stormed 4 buildings in the university, destroyed the gate, removed the Palestinian flag, and assaulted the university guards, which resulted in the transfer of one of them to the hospital. And an indication of the barbarism of the occupation.”

Domani stressed that the university is a patriotic and scientific edifice, and that the response to the intrusion is to maintain the continuity of the educational process, due to the importance of its academic and national role, calling on international institutions to pressure the occupation to release the prisoners from its students.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates condemned the barbaric intrusion by the occupation forces this morning into the Birzeit University campus, the attack on the university guard, and the destruction of contents and property.

In a statement, the Foreign Ministry considered the intrusion as an extension of the occupation’s attack targeting Palestinian educational institutions, including higher education institutions and schools in the occupied West Bank in general, and in occupied Jerusalem and the Old City of Hebron in particular, and a flagrant violation of international norms and laws, which criminalize such incursions.

She stressed that this attack is an integral part of the occupation’s aggression and its ongoing war against our Palestinian people, their rights, land, sanctities, property, and institutions.

Targeting universities goes beyond storming Birzeit. The Israeli “Shin Bet” and the occupation army announced the arrest of 11 students from An-Najah National University in Nablus, for allegedly forming a cell for Hamas.

According to the allegations of the Israeli Shin Bet, the students participated in “money transfers” to finance Hamas activities, and to organize rallies and “incitement campaigns.”

The Israeli occupation intelligence considers the Islamic Bloc to be the headline of student networks affiliated with Hamas in universities in the West Bank, and it pursues its members on the grounds that they adopt Hamas’ trends.

Three variables

Researcher and academic Wissam Rafidi says that three variables must be distinguished in the story of Palestinian universities. The first variable is related to student conflicts within the Fatah movement itself, something that happened recently at Birzeit University and the Arab American University. “There is a problem in organizational relations and how they accept each other, and this is a variable that reflects internal conflicts that indicate a disintegration in the body of the student movement, especially within the organization. largest in the West Bank.

As for the second variable, according to Rafidi, it is related to the efforts of the occupation in its attempt to remove any resistance activity inside the universities, a role that the student movement has been accustomed to throughout its long history, and it has intensified in the recent period in an attempt to prevent any effort to resist the occupation.

As for the third variable, it is related to the position of university administrations that are trying to be tough on the tendency of resistance witnessed by universities, as they do not want any manifestations declaring support for the Palestinian resistance.”

Rafidi, a former prisoner, a national political activist, and a leader in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine added: “In practice, raising a model of a missile in a university means an appearance in support of the resistance. As for refusing the appearance of a missile in the university, it means a position from the university toward the choice of resistance and its approach. This is how the pictures are.”

Rafidi called for a degree of national responsibility on the part of university administrations by allowing the student movement to express itself in the face of the occupation, stressing that this requires that these administrations show a degree of solidity and cohesion in the face of the occupation pressure, and this is first. And allowing the student movement to express itself, second, and conduct a dialogue between the universities and the student movement, third, the clash is not required in any way, it does not serve the national interest.

He continued, “Unfortunately, the position of the university administrations is compromise, and their path indicates that they are adopting a policy of defuse the fuse, that is, that the university stay away from everything that could expose it to the procedures of the occupation, and I think that this position should not be issued by the universities.”

And Rafidi considers the saying “defuse the fuse with the rubber”, to the extent that it may be used to prevent any student activity later.

As for what is required of universities, he adds: “What is required of universities is to take a position consistent with the national position without any ambiguity.”

He stressed that universities should not be subject to any pressure, whether it comes from financiers, political parties or the occupation, and their role is to be loyal to their main function, which is to create an educational environment in an institution under colonialism, “and this forces them to lead a path of emancipatory education, it is not ethical.” To detach from her reality.”

Rafidi concluded: “What happened in Birzeit, where the insistence on reviving the launch of the Popular Front and Hamas indicates that the Israeli measures do not work with students in universities. Rather, what is happening is exactly the opposite, as the threat of occupation is met with stubbornness in confronting it, as evidenced by the failure of thousands of students to comply with the threatening messages. sourced from Shin Bet officers.”

news from تحقيقات | القدس العربي
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