For over sixty years Israel has pursued policies towards the captive population in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Gaza and elsewhere to ensure that, in the words of senior officials, the “formation of a broad educated class must be averted as far as possible.” This has meant the systemic obstruction of Palestinian universities, including discriminatory taxes on construction projects, the withholding books and supplies, blocking travel to and from the universities, barring foreign faculty from lecturing, teaching and even visiting, and not infrequently sending armed police and soldiers onto the campuses to disrupt teaching and arrest alleged terrorists. The recent intensification of organised attacks on Palestinian settlements has been accompanied by increased interference in the universities, as the report below from Friends of Birzeit University testifies. Please note the request for help appended to it.

Israeli military raids campus and detains eight students

“The University will not be deterred by ongoing Israeli assaults and will continue to fulfil its academic, societal, and pedagogical missions.” 

Birzeit University statement, 25th September


Palestinian students and faculty are facing a serious escalation against higher education in Palestine. In the early hours of Sunday morning, Israeli military forces stormed Birzeit University, one of Palestine’s leading centres of learning.

During this alarming incident, dozens of armed personnel forcibly entered the university campus, assaulting security guards, and restraining them. Israeli forces then broke into the offices of the Student Council, vandalising its contents. To make matters worse, eight students were arrested, including Abdulmajid Hassan the Student Council President, Amro Khalil, Abdullah Mohammad, Ahmed Awaidat, Yahya Farah, Mahmoud Nakhleh, Hassan Alwan, and Abdullah Abu Qiyas.

This is not an isolated event but part of a disturbing pattern that targets Palestinian universities and students. It represents a significant threat to the right to education for Palestinians and undermines the vital role Birzeit University plays in serving a people living under prolonged military occupation.

We cannot stand idly by while the Israeli occupation is relentless in its attacks on the education of young Palestinians striving for a brighter future. Now, more than ever, Birzeit University and Palestinian higher education as a whole needs our support.

Here’s how you can help make a difference:

1. Donate to the Back to School Appeal: Your contribution will go a long way in assisting Palestinian students and higher education in Palestine.

2. Write to Your MP: Share this story with your Member of Parliament and urge them to take action in support of Birzeit University. Let them know that the rights of students and academics should be protected and upheld.

3. Spread the Word: Use your social media platforms and networks to raise awareness about this issue. Share this email with friends and family and encourage them to join the cause. You can find out more about Israel’s arbitrary detention of Palestinian students on our website herehere and here.

At Fobzu, we believe in the power of collective action. Together, we can make a meaningful impact and work to ensure that Palestinian students can exercise their right to education.

Thank you for your unwavering support. Let us stand in solidarity with Birzeit University and all Palestinian students and faculty striving for knowledge and justice.

With heartfelt gratitude,

Omar ShweikiDirectorFobzu (Friends of Birzeit University)