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Birzeit University condemns Israeli 'military attack' on campus

Jan. 11, 2016 5:50 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 12, 2016 1:09 P.M.)
Birzeit University said that Israeli forces left "a great deal of havoc behind" following a raid onto the university's campus overnight Sunday.
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Birzeit University on Monday condemned an Israeli army raid into its campus in Ramallah overnight, during which it said Israeli forces confiscated and damaged university equipment.

"Birzeit University condemns this attack and the direct violation of the sanctity of the university campus," the university said in a statement. "This is a belligerent military attack on the university and our right to education and all the principles involved in the freedom of education."

The university said that Israeli soldiers raided the campus in more than 15 military vehicles shortly before 3 a.m., breaching the campus' western gate and storming the university's student council and faculty of science.

"The military confiscated equipment and computers used in the activities of the students council and destroyed and damaged furniture leaving a great deal of havoc behind," the university said.

"This is a blatant attack on our student council and the sanctity of democratic values. This violation of the campus is a part of a blatant and systematic attack on the right of education and freedom of expression."

Birzeit University condemned a range of other "outrageous acts" by Israel, including the detention of some 80 students, including more than 25 taken into Israeli custody since a wave of unrest swept the occupied Palestinian territory in October.

"Stealing our students' lives and working to destroy the sanctity of our university campus and our right to education is an atrocious and obvious attempt to destroy the will of the Palestinian people," the university said.

The university added that the "constant" attacks against it would "strengthen the university's commitment to its noble cause -- education."

The Israeli army confirmed that the raid took place. An army spokesperson said that Israeli forces had "seized material, including propaganda belonging to Hamas."
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