Bir Zeit University student arrested in night raid, student leader banned from Ramallah and Bir Zeit

Alaa Assaf

Palestinian engineering student Alaa Assaf was arrested by Israeli occupation soldiers after they raided her family’s home in Bir Zeit, north of Ramallah, in an early-morning armed attack on the home.

Assaf, a student in the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology at Bir Zeit University, was formerly a member of the university’s student council from 2014-2015. Recent elections at the university were won by the Islamic Bloc; dozens of students associated with the Islamic Bloc, the leftist Progressive Democratic Pole, and other active student organizations have been arrested by the Israeli occupation forces.

At the same time, Asmaa Qadah, the secretary of Bir Zeit student council’s cultural committee, was banned from entering Ramallah and Bir Zeit for five months. Qadah was previously held under administrative detention without charge or trial for several months. The ban on Qadah’s entering Bir Zeit and Ramallah obviously interferes with her ability to study, attend classes, and participate in the university. Her graduation – originally scheduled for July 2016 – was already delayed due to three months of arbitrary imprisonment.

Asmaa Qadah

Alaa Assaf was among at least 14 Palestinians arrested in late-night/early-morning raids by Israeli occupation forces in home invasions.

Students and faculty at several Palestinian universities have been targeted for arrest, including students at Bir Zeit University, Al-Quds University, and Palestine Polytechnic University. Student offices were raided by Israeli occupation forces who invaded Al-Quds University, while astrophysics professor Imad Barghouthi is imprisoned without charge or trial under administrative detention.