Israeli occupation forces raid Birzeit University and arrest three students

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26 March 2019

Addameer - Ramallah: Israeli Occupation Forces raided on Tuesday morning, 26 March 2019 the campus of Birzeit University, North of Ramallah and arrested three students. Addameer documentation unit informed that several occupation soldiers dressed as civilians,backed by a military force, broke into the campus and kidnapped Hamza Abu Qaraa, Udai Nakhla and Tawfiq Abu Arqoub, before taking them to the Ofer Prison. At the moment of his arrest, Tawfiq abu Arqoub had been taking refuge inside the campus since 25 February, after an attempt to arrest him by the Palestinian Preventive Security Service. Tawfiq had been arrested by the Palestinian security services three times between 2013 and 2014. The occupation raid on Birzeit University campus and the arrest of three of its students, today, is a continuation of the occupation’s ongoing assault on Palestinian students, undermining their educational life. The Israeli occupation forces had arrested Tawfiq Abu Arqoub in May 2015 for nine months, before releasing him in February 2016. Then they arrested him again in February 2017 for a year and released him in March 2018. As a result of his repetitive arrests, Tawfiq’s undergraduate career has extended for more than seven years. Addameer condemns the occupation raid on Birzeit University campus and the arrest of three of its students and asserts, that the assault on Palestinian academic institutions by the Israeli occupation forces is a result of the widespread culture of impunity within the occupation authorities. This is clearly demonstrated through the occupation’s repeated violations of international law, which expressly provided for the protection of academic institutions from military aggression. Therefore, Addameer calls on all international organizations and Contracting States to assume their responsibility by taking concrete and practical steps, pressuring the occupying state, in order to ensure respect for Palestinian educational institutions and to protect Palestinian students, as protected persons under international law.