Palestine’s educational institutions, from schools to universities, are being targeted by Israeli airstrikes again, along with the killing and arresting many teachers and students, the destruction of educational facilities and the suspension of teaching in most of the Palestinian territories.
In East Jerusalem, a large building affiliated with Al-Quds University was severely damaged as a result of many tear gas canisters and sound bombs fired by the Israeli forces on the campus, causing a fire that left the building completely burnt and collapsed.
“What happened is not new,” said Abdullah Najajreh, a professor of public law at Al-Quds University’s Faculty of Law, in a phone call. “It has happened frequently not only to Al-Quds University, which has been besieged for more than 17 years by the apartheid wall, but to all of the Palestinian educational institutions.” (See two related articles, “Al-Quds University Under Fire” and “Educational Toll of Gaza War: At least 3 Universities, 148 Schools.”)
Over the past few days, many students and professors have also been arrested, according to Najajreh, who is secretary-general of the Federation of Unions of Palestinian University Professors and Employees.
“This will affect the opportunity to resume studies and take exams for students in practical colleges after the Muslim holiday vacation,” he said.
Closed Universities in Gaza
Under fierce military attacks, all of Gaza’s seven universities have been closed. These include the Islamic University of Gaza, the Gaza Strip’s largest university, after a number of its buildings were bombed and Jamal Al-Zibdeh, a professor of mechanical engineering at the university, was assassinated. Moreover, work was suspended in 22 intermediate institutes, and about 31 schools with more than 24,000 students were bombed and destroyed as a result of the Israeli strikes.