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Ashrawi: Israeli army assault on Birzeit University campus a dangerous escalation.

RAMALLAH, March 8, 2018 (WAFA) -- Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi strongly condemned on Thursday the Israeli army's violent raid on Birzeit University campus on Wednesday and forced abduction of the president of the university's Student Council Omar Kiswani, describing this act as a grave violation and a dangerous escalation.

"The storming of Birzeit University campus in broad daylight and the violent abduction of its Student Council President Omar Al-Kiswani by undercover Israeli agents (Al Musta'ribin), are part of Israel's ongoing policy targeting Palestinian educational institutions, violating academic campuses and kidnapping students and infringing on academic freedom as a whole with full impunity, including the fundamental right to education and other human rights enshrined in international law and conventions," said Ashrawi, who is also member of Birzeit University's Board of Trustees.

"This latest incident is part of an ongoing policy in which Israel willfully targets and undermines academic freedoms in schools and universities and deprives our younger generations from exercising their right to education and achieving a brighter future free of military occupation, violence and oppression," she said in a statement.

"Furthermore, the fact that these Israeli operatives were disguised as journalists is entirely reprehensible. UNESCO Resolutions, Decisions, and Declarations on the Safety of Journalists must be respected and Israel must be held accountable in order to ensure it will refrain from repeating such illegal policies."

Ashrawi called on all governments, UNESCO, the academic community worldwide, and people of conscience "to act to guarantee that Palestinian students and educational institutions are safeguarded once and for all, and to bring Israel to account for its flagrant breach of international law and international humanitarian law, primarily the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, the 1949 Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols, and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court."

She urge forming "an independent international commission of inquiry to investigate the unlawful violations and egregious crimes committed by the Israeli occupation."

Birzeit University had issued a statement describing what happened and condemning the assault on its campus.


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Publication:Palestine News Agency (WAFA) (Gaza, Palestine)
Geographic Code:7ISRA
Date:Mar 8, 2018
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