November 18th 2015 | International Solidarity Movement, Huwara Team | Tulkarm, occupied Palestine
On the 17th of November, in a meeting in the University of Al Kadoorie, in the city of Tulkarm, the institution’s Director of Public Relations, Mr. Azmi Saleh, and a group of students described the recent human rights violations that the Israeli army has carried out against the Palestinian students of the University.
Since the beginning of October, the Israeli army has perpetrated raids into the University while students attend lectures and exams. Mohammed, one of the students who was present, explained:
“Everyday they enter the campus firing their guns in the air and throwing tear gas canisters. We go out to see what is happening. Then they start shooting at us. We can’t stand this anymore, to see our friends and classmates getting shot and imprisoned.”
Approximately 350 students have been injured since the beginning of October, meaning injured students are being sent to the hospital on a daily basis. Likewise, twelve students have been in jail for six months. There is no knowledge about when they will be released.
In addition, the Israeli army has given no official explanation as to why they are committing these crimes. The administration staff has tried to communicate with authorities in the army to know why they are doing this and try to persuade them to stop, but the Israeli army does not respond to their complaints.
The students of Al Kadoorie University expressed their fear and suffering, asking for the international community to do all that they possibly can to help stop these human rights violations.
The students are so afraid of going to the University, that these actions are clearly preventing them from continuing their studies.
During the past decades, the Israeli occupation forces have stolen more than 200 dunums of land from Al Kadoorie University. In an area where there used to be functioning greenhouses that belonged to the Applied Research Centre of the Faculty of Agriculture, the Israeli army installed a military training field, keeping it for 21 years. The Apartheid wall, which sits right behind this training field, sets the boundary between the West Bank and the State of Israel, leaving the University premises at the very edge of the West Bank.
Two days ago, after weeks of enduring these raids, the University decided to bring a bulldozer to tear down the facilities of the army’s military training field, which is where the soldiers begin their operations. The Israeli forces confiscated the bulldozer and detained the Vice President for over half an hour, with the threat of taking him to prison.
It is important to note that the students of Al Kadoorie regularly participate in peaceful demonstrations against the Apartheid wall that sits next to their campus and the Israeli industrial zone whose factories emit air pollutants that they suspect contain hazardous chemicals. Students complain that there are times that these fumes hurt their skin. Even though the reasons why the students protest are legitimate, during its military raids the Israeli army demands that they stop demonstrating.