The Israeli occupation authorities systematically and persistently target Palestinian university students for arbitrary arrest and detention. This practice, amounting to a form of collective punishment, violates Palestinian students’ rights to education and freedom of association, assembly, and expression, all protected under international legal standards. Each year, the Israeli occupation authorities viciously arrest and detain dozens of Palestinian students, often under the pretext of involvement with student groups deemed “illegal” under Israeli military orders. Though the Israeli occupation authorities target students and student groups across Palestine, students at Birzeit University have been subjected to the most consistent, systematic attacks, raids on campus, arbitrary detention orders, and torture and ill-treatment.
The Israeli occupation forces’ continuous attacks against Palestinian universities and students violate Israel's obligation as an Occupying Power to protect educational institutions. Further, targeting students through these attacks directly impedes Palestinians’ right to education, as provided in Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 13 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). Youth and student unions are essential elements of a democratic society. In Palestine, youth voices have contributed to the mobilization of popular resistance and transnational solidarity against Israel's apartheid regime and toward social change. Their criminalization thus represents another attempt by Israel's apartheid regime to suppress youth self-determination.