The Right to Education Campaign condemns arbitrary arrest of Birzeit University’s Head of Student Council

The Right to Education Campaign expresses its grave concern over the Israeli Occupying forces’ arrest of the head of Birzeit University student council Yehya Rabie’ at dawn on November 19, 2018, from his house in Al- Mazra’a Al Gharbiya near Ramallah. Rabie’ is a third-year student in the Faculty of Business and Economics.

Such outrageous acts are categorical violation of international laws and norms, which all forbid any violation against the basic right of people to the right of education.

The Right to Education Campaign views this attack as a dangerous aggression against academia and Palestinian students. Palestinians aspire to live by the values of democracy, freedom of speech and respect for human rights, and these violations will not deter its commitment to higher education, and the pivotal role it has played since its establishment.

These regular attacks are part of systematic oppressive measures aimed at undermining the foundation of our education system, violating basic human rights, terrorizing our youth into submission, especially those who are part of Birzeit University’s student council. Between 2012 and 2018, the Israeli occupation arrested and kidnapped over 20 members of the student council; four of them were the head of the student council at the time of arrest.  

This situation escalated during the past academic year (2017-2018), when, and for the first time, an undercover Israeli army unit infiltrated Birzeit University’s main campus, during classroom hours, and arrested Omar Kiswani, a 24-year-old political science student and the head of the university’s student council.

Since 2004, around 800 of the university’s students have been arrested at one time, among them 16 female students. Currently, over 60 students are detained in Israeli prisons, many under administrative detention with no charges.

The Right to Education Campaign, founded in 1988 to call on all international support to hold Israel accountable for the crime of breaching the Palestinian youth’s right to education, urge all parliamentary representatives, university communities, professional and academic associations, student associations, human rights organizations, and United Nations agencies to take an immediate action to stop Israel’s repressive measures against Palestinians and assert their basic rights to learn, grow and prosper freely and independently.