ADC Condemns Israeli assault on Al-Quds University in East Jerusalem
Palestine-USA, Politics, 7/12/2002
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) strongly condemned the raid on and closure of Al-Quds University in Al Quds (east Jerusalem) carried out by Israeli occupation forces.
Israeli authorities removed all university employees from the premises at gunpoint and seized the university's administrative records and computers. Al-Quds University, a leading academic institution, has been completely blockaded by Israeli occupation forces leaving students with no access to education. The raid seemed particularly targeted at Dr. Sari Nusseibeh whose office was among those ransacked and occupied.
Nusseibeh, President of the Al-Quds University and the senior Palestinian official in the city, is widely renowned for his moderate views and efforts to prevent violence in the holy city.
ADC considers the assault on Al-Quds University as a direct attack against the right of the Palestinian people, particularly those in occupied Al-Quds, to access education and to maintain their own social and cultural institutions in the city. The attempt to disrupt and close the university is part and parcel of long-standing Israeli policies which make normal life impossible for the 250,000 Palestinians who live under Israeli occupation in the city and cut the city off from the rest of the West Bank, ADC further deplores.
This attack was the latest in a string of efforts to destroy and or incapacitate independent and viable Palestinian institutions, including educational centers, for no apparent purpose except to break the will of the Palestinian people to resist Israel's ongoing occupation.
ADC President Ziad Asali said "this attack on a long-standing, well-known and widely respected Palestinian university once again shows that Israel's efforts are aimed at the Palestinian society and people as a whole, and not against militant groups or those who commit acts of violence. Israel must respect the human rights of the Palestinian people to develop cultural and educational institutions even under conditions of foreign military occupation. The attack on the only Palestinian university in occupied Al Quds and the ransacking of Dr. Sari Nusseibeh's office are major assaults on the human and cultural rights of the Palestinian people and serve to further inflame an already volatile situation.
ADC calls the Bush Administration to take steps to ensure that Al-Quds University is reopened, and its records and equipment returned forthwith. Israel simply must not be allowed to get away with such a blatant assault on the basic rights of an entire people to education and culture, says the association.
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