Call for solidarity from Birzeit University Union of Employees and Professors

A new generation of Palestinians is rising up against Israel’s brutal, decades-old regime of settler colonialism to demand their people’s right for liberation and self determination. Tens of thousands of young Palestinians have joined these demonstrations taking place across villages, neighbourhoods and refugee camps all over Palestine.

The state of Israel’s systematic and deliberate dispossession and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians since 1948 to create an exclusivist Jewish state; the denial of Palestinian refugees’ internationally recognized right to return to their homes; the ongoing expulsion of Palestinians from their homes in Jerusalem and the Naqab; Israel’s continued confiscation of Palestinian lands and repeated murderous campaigns against besieged Gaza since 2007, including last summer’s campaign which annihilated entire families in their homes, are only a few examples of Israel’s colonial policies that Palestinian youth are rising up against. Over the past few months, settlers (the informal arm of Israel’s settler colonial policies) have intensified their violence against the Palestinians, most recently exemplified by the burning of the Dawabshe family in their home in Duma village. This brutality became even more vicious with Israel’s latest policy to facilitate access to settlers into the Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem.

Israel’s fierce repression based on an overwhelming military force and increasing use of summary executions by live fire to quell popular protests continues. Israel intensified the isolation of Palestinian residential areas from Jerusalem and from one another, implementing severe new restrictions on movement. Since the beginning of October, Israelis killed more than 55 Palestinians (11 of whom are children) and injured hundreds. Israel’s well-oiled propaganda machinery has been spreading lies to cover up its murders of Palestinian youth and children. Violence against students has been particularly vicious, both on and off campuses.

A few days ago, two of our students at Birzeit University, Abdul Rahman Abu Dahab and Ahmed Walid Hamid, were brutally beaten for demonstrating at Beit Eil checkpoint, and the latter was deliberately shot in the leg at point-blank range while restrained. A 2013 graduate of Birzeit University, Omar Muhammad Al-Faqih, was killed in cold blood at Qalandiya checkpoint by Israeli soldiers. Hadeel al-Hashlamon, an 18 year old student at Hebron University, was shot by an Israeli soldier at a checkpoint in Hebron and left to bleed to death. An 18 year-old Bethlehem University student Shurouq Dwayyat was attacked by a settler in the old city, who attempted to remove her veil. When she pushed him away in self-defence, he shot her. Last week, Israeli forces stormed the campus of Al-Quds University in East Jerusalem, arrested eight students and caused extensive damage. The Technical University in Tulkarem was repeatedly raided and students attacked on campus.

In defiance of Israel’s colonialism and repression, we at Birzeit University:

-Assert our right and the right of our people to resist settler colonialism across all of Palestine until liberation.

-We call upon all conscientious individuals, particularly students and academics to stand in solidarity with our struggle including intensifying efforts to promote and implement campaigns of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel.

27 October 2015.