Israel arrests dozens of Palestinian students over alleged 'terror'

Published July 15, 2021
According to the Palestinian Prisoners Club, the number of students arrested on Wednesday was around 45, but 12 have since been released and the 33 still in detention were all male. — Reuters/File
According to the Palestinian Prisoners Club, the number of students arrested on Wednesday was around 45, but 12 have since been released and the 33 still in detention were all male. — Reuters/File

The Israeli army said on Thursday it had arrested dozens of Palestinian students in the occupied West Bank that it accused of being “terror operatives” of Islamist group Hamas.

Palestinian sources told AFP that dozens of students from Birzeit University were arrested as they were returning by bus from the village of Turmus Ayya where earlier this month Israeli troops demolished the family home of a Palestinian American awaiting trial on charges of shooting a Jewish student in the West Bank earlier this year.

An Israeli army statement said: “Some of the apprehended terror operatives were directly involved in terror activities, including money transfers, incitement and the organisation of Hamas activities in Judea and Samaria,” using the Biblical terms for the West Bank.

Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip and was involved in the 11-day clashes with Israel in May, is blacklisted as a terrorist organisation by the European Union and the United States.

A statement issued late on Wednesday announcing the arrests said “dozens of terror operatives” belonging to “a student cell” at Birzeit University had been detained in a joint operation involving the army, police and the Shin Bet domestic security agency.

An army spokesperson told AFP on Thursday that the Shin Bet had taken over the investigation.

According to the Palestinian Prisoners Club, the number of students arrested on Wednesday was around 45, but 12 have since been released and the 33 still in detention were all male.

It said that Israel had carried out “systematic arrests” of Palestinian students that had “obstructed the education of hundreds of students”.

Birzeit University in a statement voiced concern over the fate of its students, and condemned the arrests as a breach of international law.

“The university calls on the international community to intervene immediately to secure their release,” it said.

Opinion

Editorial

Taliban anniversary
15 Aug, 2022

Taliban anniversary

A YEAR ago on this day, the Afghan Taliban rolled into Kabul as the Western-backed government fell like a house of...
Extreme measures
Updated 15 Aug, 2022

Extreme measures

Government has overreacted to a degree that has given ammunition to the PTI to accuse it of ‘fascism’.
A depraved society
15 Aug, 2022

A depraved society

IF the extent of sexual violence against women and children is any measure of a society’s moral degradation, then ...
Taking stock
Updated 14 Aug, 2022

Taking stock

There are numerous reasons behind our predicament, and many of our wounds are self-inflicted.
Medicine in short supply
14 Aug, 2022

Medicine in short supply

THAT rising import prices of pharmaceutical raw materials and increasing production costs of manufacturers have...
Police excesses
Updated 13 Aug, 2022

Police excesses

Crass thuggery and victimisation of ordinary citizens are unlikely to earn govt plaudits from any quarter.