Israeli occupation forces seized at least 23 people from their homes on Monday morning, 26 August, including several Palestinian student leaders and activists at Bir Zeit University. They join approximately 60 fellow students at Bir Zeit and over 300 Palestinian students overall held in Israeli prisons. Student activists involved in the elected council or other organizations are particularly targeted for arrest, interrogation and imprisonment; nearly every year, the Bir Zeit student body president is seized by occupation forces and prevented from carrying out his or her term on campus.
The students arrested on Monday morning include Ribhi Karajeh, a former political prisoner, seized from his village of Saffa; Khaled Abu Qash and Ahmad Kharouf. The Progressive Democratic Student Pole at Bir Zeit University issued a statement denouncing the arrests, saying that these arrests come “in the context of unsuccessful attempts to undermine our solid will and strong determination” and affirming that the Palestinian people will not be intimidated by persecution and the struggle will not be weakened by arrests.
The Palestinian Youth Mobilization in Germany (Hirak) called on students around the world to organize to confront the arrests and repression targeting Palestinian students throughout occupied Palestine. Hirak urged the Higher Committee for the Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege in Gaza to adopt a Friday of protest for Palestinian students in order to unify the student movement in struggle and work together to escalate the popular struggle against the occupation and break the siege on the Palestinian people in Gaza, especially students.
The list of people arrested includes the following:
1. Ribhi Karajeh, from Saffa west of Ramallah
2. Mohammed Munir Barghouthi, from Kobar north of Ramallah
3. Kanaan Hazmawi, from Kobar
4. Diaa Mashal Barghouthi, from Kobar
5. Marwan Adib Barghouthi, from Kobar
6. Nael Jamal Barghouthi, from Kobar
7. Shadi Barghouthi, from Kobar
8. Musaab Saher Barghouthi, from Kobar
9. Mohammed Munir Barghouthi, from Kobar
10. Qassam Nael Barghouthi, from Kobar
11. Yousef Sarhan, from Kobar
12. Khaled Ahmad Qad, from Abu Qash north of Ramallah
13. Aseer Hatem Maarouf, from Ain Qinya north of Ramallah
14. Talaat Hatem Maarouf, from Ain Qinya
15. Ahmad Kharouf, from Ramallah
16. Yahya Mohammed al-Rifai, from Kafr Ain west of Ramallah
17. Haitham Yousef al-Eiss, from Kafr Ainn
18. Firas Abdel-Karim Adam, from Zawiya, west of Salfit
19. Hafez Abu Zeid, from Jenin
20. Salah Albou, from Abu Dis east of Jerusalem
21. Saqer Hanatsheh, from Ramallah al-Tahta
22. Salem Badi al-Dardasari, from al-Bireh
As these new arrests targeted students and activists, Palestinian student Osama Fakhoury, 22, from al-Khalil, was once again ordered to eight more days of detention by the Ofer military court. An engineering student, Fakhoury is the former student council chair at Bir Zeit University. He has been jailed since 2 July, when he was seized by occupation forces 25 days before the release of his mother, Palestinian writer Lama Khater, who was released from over a year in Israeli prison in late July.
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network joins Hirak in its call to action to defend Palestinian students under attack and organize to win the liberation of Palestinian prisoners – and of all of Palestine. We translate the statement below:
“The Zionist occupation continues to arrest and target our Palestinian students and comrades in the universities in the occupied homeland, Palestine, believing that it can break their resolve our our commitment. Our response to the crimes of the occupation is through popular action and its comprehensive escalation everywhere.
The Palestinian Youth Mobilization calls on all Palestinian students everywhere to organize, confront and expose the policy of large-scale arrests carried out by the Zionist occupation forces against the student movement in occupied Palestine.
We also call on our brothers and comrades in the Higher Committee for the Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege to adopt a Friday of anger on behalf of the students of Palestine to unite efforts for a unified student movement in action and work together to escalate the popular movement to confront the occupier and break the siege imposed upon our people in the Gaza Strip, especially on the student population.
To our struggling people everywhere:
Popular escalation is the only possible option to protect our national rights and our sacred cause from the threat of liquidation.
Hirak also calls on the BDS movement to mobilize committees and campaigners everywhere, especially in universities, to defend the students in occupied Palestine.
We also emphasize that the attacks of the occupation on Palestinian students are not separate from its attacks on our people and our nation in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Palestine.
Together we will win, and only together.
Palestinian Youth Mobilization/Berlin”