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Israeli forces raid Abu Dis and attack al-Quds University, injuring 40

Nov. 17, 2013 4:06 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 18, 2013 10:07 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces shot 40 Palestinians including a large number of university students with rubber-coated steel bullets during a raid on a Palestinian village east of Jerusalem on Sunday afternoon.

Clashes broke out after Israeli forces raided Abu Dis while students from al-Quds University were on their way to class, a local official said.

Popular committee spokesman Hani Halbiya told Ma'an that Israeli soldiers raided the village of Abu Dis and stopped students from al-Quds University for questioning.

Clashes erupted between Palestinian students and Israeli forces at al-Quds University Street, Habiya said. Israeli forces fired tear gas grenades and sound bombs while Palestinians threw stones and burned tires.

40 Palestinians, including students from al-Quds University, were hit with rubber-coated steel bullets, while dozens of others suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation.

A number of injured were taken to a nearby medical center for treatment, while the others were treated on the scene.

Habiya added that Israeli forces also fired sound bombs at random toward the campus of al-Quds University, the local council, and Abu Dis School.

English composition instructor Mya Guarnieri was teaching a class at the time of the incident, she told Ma'an via telephone.

"Afterwards, I saw someone I knew who had been hit by a tear gas canister in the torso," Guarnieri said.

A number of students were suffering from the tear gas, she added.

Guarnieri said that university property was damaged as a result of the clashes, and that there was "tons of broken glass."

"It kind of looked like the Intifada," she added.

An Israeli army spokeswoman did not return calls seeking comment, and a spokesman for the Israeli Border Police could not be reached.

Palestinian education under occupation

Al-Quds University and Abu Dis are the site of frequent raids and attacks by Israeli occupation forces, leading to closures of the university. Israeli occupation forces also raid the dormitories of al-Quds University, arresting students.

The attack on al-Quds University comes just days after Birzeit University hosted Right to Education Week, an international campaign intended to raise awareness of the obstacles the Israeli occupation places on Palestinian students' right to an education.

Sundos Hammas, organizer of the campaign at Birzeit, told Ma'an on Monday that "Education is our tool to resist occupation. It is important to keep our Palestinian heritage and to resist the narrative of the occupier."

The internationally recognized Palestinian territories of which the West Bank and East Jerusalem form a part have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.

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