Baroness Amos condemns Israel's deportation of senior lecturer

Baroness Valerie Amos, director of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London, has condemned Israel's deportation of a senior lecturer in SOAS's Department of Development Studies, who was scheduled to deliver a series of lectures to PhD students at Birzeit University in the West Bank. 

Dr. Hanieh was deported back to London on the morning of 13 September 2016 and banned from entering the country for 10 years. He was held for questioning for 10 hours at Ben Gurion airport, then held overnight at a detention centre outside the airport.

In a letter to the Israeli Embassy, Baroness Amos called the decision taken by the Israeli authorities, “an arbitrary breach of academic freedom”.

Birzeit University said: "This act of denial of entry and deportation by the Israeli state and its agencies is part of a systematic policy of denial of entry to international academics, professionals and activists intending to visit Palestine. The policy represents an attack on Palestinian academic freedom, and is routinely practiced at the two entry points, the airport in Tel Aviv and the Jordan valley crossing from Jordan."

Despite Israel's efforts to deny Palestinian academics and students opportunities to engage with their international counterparts, Palestinian universities are determined to be part of the international academy.

19 October 2016