Statement Issued by the Student Frameworks at Birzeit University

Original Statement in Arabic

The Palestinian student movement has long been a target of the Zionist state apparatus, as a result, Palestinian student organizers face surveillance, sweeping arrests, and torture. While experiencing repression at the hands of the Zionist state has come to be expected as they seek to squash every hub of resistance organizing, these brave students are now sounding the alarm regarding the the role that the Palestinian Authority plays in collaborating with Zionists to violently repress the student movement.

Palestinian students, especially those who take on positions of leadership in the struggle for our liberation are arrested and tortured by the Palestinian Authority. The Zionist entity has enjoyed easy access to campus and students, and students demand a safer and accountable environment. Yet the complacency of the University’s Administration in these matters reveal the possibility of the University itself fulfilling a role to the security apparatus, and students have had enough.

Here is their statement that was released prior to this new wave of attacks (Dec 19, 2021) translated from Arabic to English:

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Our colleagues - family of the University of Martyrs

It has become clear to everyone the type and nature of challenges the student movement today is facing within the university campus, and the recent stances of the new administration are nothing but the best evidence and proof of it, despite the fact that many of the administrative staff are Birzeit University graduates it is clear that they have forgotten because they have been away from the university atmosphere for a long time that any attempt to break the student movement or domesticate it in favor of any external agenda, regardless of its fate, is destined to fail, and we say to everyone who sees the student movement as a rock in the way of his ambition of executing the revolutionary spirit within the walls of the university, “We are remaining and you are the ones who will leave.” Accordingly, the student frameworks confirm the following:

First, what Ghassan al-Khatib stated on the Quds News Network, in which he says that “the university administration is held accountable for the events inside the university campus only” constitutes a very dangerous statement, the effect of which is to give legitimacy to all those who are not related to the university and are seeking to demolish the student movement in it to pursue university students outside its walls and abuse them by all means as a consequence of their political positions. This is a dangerous precedent that harms the history of Birzeit University.

Second: Our stance on political arrests and the prosecution of student cadres in Palestinian universities in the West Bank and Gaza is known to all and does not need to be proven. Wherever political arrests are present, we will always be on the contrasting side of it, we consider the arrest and interrogation of many university students by the security services against the background of their student activity and what happened in Kamal Nasser Hall to be nothing but confirmation that the university administration has lifted its hand from its students and is trying to absolve its responsibility of the external events and withdraw its protection from them, which is fully consistent with the defective statements made by Ghassan Al-Khatib.

Third: The violations that the university administration invokes to hold the special committee against each of the coordinator of the Islamic bloc and the student pole coordinator and a member of the preparatory committee at the student pole as well, is dealt with through an ordinary disciplinary committee which will not happen because the disciplinary committee strongly refuses to consider the complaints submitted against student activities out of respect to the custom that exists within the walls of the university, and this is what prompts us to say that the formation of this special committee is due to an external political decision and to please external parties.

Finally, and based on the foregoing, the student movements invite you to participate in the angry protest in front of the university presidency building tomorrow Monday at twelve o'clock to overthrow this committee so that Birzeit remains the beacon of resistance and the stronghold of the free and the revolutionaries.