In January 2004 a group of us were welcomed to Birzeit University, which consists of buildings constructed out of local white stone. It is impressive. What we were told, however, of the continuing harrasment of the Israeli army was an outrage. While the western world expresses its collective feelings of shock and horror at terrorist activities, there has been a failure to express solidarity with the courageous and dedicated staff and students at Birzeit.
Since we were there it appears that the situation has worsened considerably. On 21st November 2004, four Birzeit University students from Gaza were forcibly removed from their studies in the West Bank and illegally deported to the Gaza Strip by the Israeli occupation Army. No charges were made against Bashar Abu Shahala, Walid Muhanna, Bashar Abu Salim and Mohammad Matar, but they have been prevented from returning to Birzeit University to continue their studies. The Right to Education Campaign at Birzeit University is fighting for their return.
A petition has been drawn up. To sign click here.