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Italian academics call for boycotting Israeli universities

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Israeli soldiers prepare to launch a drone near Bat Shlomo in the northern part of the occupied Palestinian territories on January 16, 2012. (Getty Images)

Dozens of Italian academics have signed a petition calling for the boycott of Israeli universities over their role in the Tel Aviv regime’s atrocities against the Palestinians.

Published on Wednesday, the petition has so far attracted the signatures of nearly 170 scholars from over 50 universities and colleges across Italy. 

“Israeli universities collaborate on military research and development of weapons used by the Israeli army against the Palestinian population, providing undeniable support to the military occupation and colonization of Palestine,” the petition reads.

The petition singled out the Israeli Institute of Technology in the city of Haifa, known as the Technion, saying that it “carries out research in a wide range of technologies and weapons used to oppress and attack Palestinians.”

According to the Italian scholars, the Technion helps Israeli arms manufacturers develop drones “used by the Israeli army to fire on civilians in Lebanon in 2006 and in Gaza in 2008-2009 and in 2014”.

The prototype of the Oblijet supersonic drone lifts off on its maiden flight under the gaze of its Technion University developers. (Reuters)

The institute also developed a technology allowing Israeli army bulldozers used to demolish Palestinian homes to be operated with remote control, the academics said.

The campaign also emphasized its support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, a global effort that uses economic and political pressure on Israel to comply with the goals of the movement -- the end of the Israeli occupation and colonization of Palestinian land, full equality for Arab-Palestinians living in the occupied territories, and respect for the right of return of Palestinian refugees.

“We invite all those in solidarity with the Palestinian liberation struggle to join the BDS campaign until Israel recognizes the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and complies with international law,” the petition urged.

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