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Palestine blasts Israeli forces’ raid on West Bank university, arrest of students

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)
This picture shows a view of the entrance to Birzeit University in the central part of the occupied West Bank. (Photo via Twitter)

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates has denounced a violent attack by Israeli special forces against a public university in the central part of the occupied West Bank, which resulted in the injury and arrest of a number of students.

The ministry, in a statement released on Monday, said the raid is truly indicative of the Tel Aviv regime’s aggressive nature as its relentless campaign against Palestinian people, their legitimate rights, land, holy sites, property, and institutions, constitutes a flagrant violation of international principles that criminalize such incursions.

It called on the international community and relevant United Nations institutions, particularly the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), to deplore attacks against Palestinian educational institutions, and to take necessary measures aimed at protection of Palestinians and their academic centers.

Earlier in the day, a group of undercover Israeli agents, known as Mustarebeen, entered Birzeit University’s campus from the northern gate and fired live bullets at the students, the university said in a statement posted on Facebook. 

"A new crime is being committed by the Zionist criminal forces against Birzeit University and its students, as undercover forces (Israeli soldiers disguised as Arabs) and the occupation army stormed the northern entrance to the university; They fired live bullets at students, wounding and detaining a number of them,” the statement read.

The university said that its lawyer was working to find about the conditions of the kidnapped students.

Birzeit University condemned the “blatant attack” and called on international and human rights institutions to intervene in order to protect educational institutions.

The official Palestinian news agency Wafa identified the five arrested Palestinian students as Ismail Barghouti, Qassam Nakhleh, Abdel Hafeez Sharabati, Walid Harazneh, and Muhammad al-Khatib.

It added that two students were wounded in heavy gunfire.

Meanwhile, Hamas resistance movement said in a statement that Israeli special forces “committed a new crime by raiding the Birzeit University campus and firing shots at students.”

“We strongly condemn the occupation forces' pursuit of the student union movement, abduction of students, and the storming of universities," the group said. 

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PLFP) also called the raid “a barbaric Israeli incursion.”

It then called for “the protection of students and academic institutions.” 

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