Israel attacks West Bank college twice in one week

Israeli forces detain a Palestinian protester in Tulkarem last month.

Nedal Eshtayah APA images

The Israeli army attacked the Palestine Technical University in the occupied West Bank city of Tulkarem twice this week.

Nine Palestinians were shot Thursday as Israeli soldiers tried to suppress a protest on the campus. On Monday, five students had to be hospitalized for gunshot wounds.

Known as Kadoorie, the university has been subject to a series of such attacks since early October, when students began organizing marches against the Israeli occupation.

Live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas have all been fired by Israel during the attacks.

Twenty students have been detained so far, the International Solidarity Movement stated last week.

None of the students has been released.

Military camp

The university is located next to the massive wall that Israel is building in the West Bank. According to the Palestinian human rights group Al-Haq, Israel confiscated 200 dunums (50 acres) from Kadoorie to build the wall and another 23 dunums (5.5 acres) for a military training camp within the campus.

Israel has also established a military checkpoint at the university’s entrance. The attacks have been so severe that the university has had to close on occasions.

Students have also reported that Israeli soldiers have pointed their guns directly at them, giving the impression that the soldiers were about to open fire.

When a number of students responded to such threatening behavior in October by throwing stones and fireworks at the military training area, the Israeli soldiers fired large quantities of tear gas into the university.

Al-Haq has produced a video about the attacks (see above). The group contends that the Israeli army’s presence in Kadoorie amounts to a violation of the 1993 Oslo accords.

As a result of these accords, Kadoorie was placed in Area A of the West Bank, which is supposed to be under full Palestinian control for administrative and security purposes.

Al-Quds University in Abu Dis, an area on the outskirts of occupied East Jerusalem, has also been a target for repeated Israeli incursions.

During October, 513 people suffered from tear gas inhalation on that campus, Al-Haq has calculated.

Live ammunition was also used by Israeli forces, who have broken doors, gates and windows at the university.

The right to education is guaranteed by a number of United Nations’ agreements.

Yet Israel denies that right to Palestinians at all levels of education.

In East Jerusalem, Israel has been increasing its intimidation of schoolchildren lately. Around 5,000 children have to pass through a military checkpoint each morning in order to reach schools in the Ras al-Amud neighborhood. Israel erected the checkpointed in mid-October.

Asma Abasi, who heads a committee for parents with children in the area’s schools, said that the experience means pupils are “agitated” when they eventually make it to their classrooms.

And once they make it past the checkpoints, Israeli forces often raid their schools, Abasi told The Electronic Intifada.

Settler harassment

Meanwhile, Israeli settlers in the West Bank city of Hebron blocked pupils from reaching class on Thursday.

The Palestinian Authority’s education ministry has stated that settlers wish to have the Qortoba school in Hebron, which serves pupils between the ages of 7 and 16, closed down. The school is located beside an Israeli settlement.

One settler, Anat Cohen, regularly harasses Palestinians in Hebron. Seen in the video above, she was reportedly the first settler to obstruct the children from reaching Qortoba yesterday. She was then joined by other settlers, who subjected the pupils to verbal abuse.

Another video from the scene shows her breaking through a group of soldiers and shouting into the faces of children.


Charlotte Silver

Charlotte Silver's picture

Charlotte Silver is an independent journalist and regular writer for The Electronic Intifada. She is based in Oakland, California and has reported from Palestine since 2010. Follow her on Twitter @CharESilver.