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Join the campaign to defend the academic freedom of the University of Kadoorie in the Occupied Palestinian Territories

April 26, 2016

This week the Israeli members organization Academia for Equality, an organization of academics dedicated to the democratization of Israeli academia and society launched a joint public campaign with the University of Kadoorie in Tulkarem, the West Bank, to defend the academic freedom of this institution.

Since 2002, the army has used a shooting range built on confiscated university land, with firing oriented in the direction of the university buildings. Moreover, since October 2015, the army has responded aggressively and disproportionately to demonstrations against the occupation, storming the university’s campus 130 times over 85 days, injuring 138 students and staff members with live bullets. In addition, the army fired tear gas grenades causing 850 cases of suffocation and destroyed greenhouses used by the students. These incursions into campus also included shooting at walls, windows, and lamps; using so called “skunk water;” and preventing the use of the library for weeks. To date, 12.5% of the total study days have been disrupted this year, as the university was forced to suspend study 12 times and to close its doors for two days to maintain its students’ lives and safety.

In the face of this aggression, the university has reacted peacefully, only asking for its land to be given back, and for permission to build a protection wall between the campus and the army installations. This wall would not only prevent bullets from reaching the buildings, but would also prevent demonstrators from entering the campus and throwing stones at army installations. The army has turned down this simple solution; military exercises – including shooting with live ammunition – continue regularly on the campus’ grounds.

For more details on what is happening in Kadoorie and to join the campaign here.