Israeli occupation demolishes Widad Barghouthi home, continues to violate Palestinian’s academic freedom

In continuation of its barbaric aggression on Palestine, its people, and academics, Israeli occupation forces demolished the house of Widad Barghouthi, a media professor at Birzeit University, in the early morning hours of May 11, 2020.

Birzeit University expresses its deepest concern regarding this belligerent military attack of Barghouthi’s house that constitutes a violation of all fundamental principles of human rights and dignity.

Heavily-armed forces raided Kobar, the village where Barghouthi’s family home is located, and a bulldozer forced its way in to demolished the top floor of the two-story building, destroying trees around it.

Israeli occupying forces had warned Barghouthi’s family in early February of the intention to demolish their home. This threat had been issued after Barghouthi’s release; she had been detained on September 1, 2019.

Attacks on Birzeit University’s academics and their property should be seen in the context of the continuous harassment and arrests that are being carried out by Israeli occupation forces, violating Palestinian academic freedom. These measures are in parallel with extensive restrictions on movement that prevent all Palestinians from accessing education and limit the access of international guests and academics.

The university calls on academic institutions and human rights organizations to advocate for an immediate stop of these violations and actively support the Palestinian struggle for liberation.