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Anger after Israel shuts down Palestinian universities in East Jerusalem

Israeli forces baned Palestinian academics from entering al-Quds University [Getty]

Date of publication: 15 July, 2018

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Two Palestinian educational facilities were shut down by Israeli forces 'until further notice'.

Anger has spurred over Israel shutting down two Palestinian education facilities in occupied East Jerusalem, as Israeli plans to annex the territory continue.

Israel closed down Hind al-Husseini College and Al-Quds University’s College of Art - both of which are located in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood - until further notice after banning an academic conference taking place and detaining 15 participants.

The conference was due to take place on Saturday at al-Quds University’s College of Arts.

The two-day conference was organised by the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf and Heritage Reservation Society and was supposed to discuss the status of Muslim endowment and property, as well as the protection of Islamic and Christian heritage in the occupied city. 

The move was also condemned by the president of the Arab American University, Ali Abu Zuhri, who said Israel was taking exceptional measures to disrupt the Palestinian education system, according to Palestinian Authority news agency WAFA.

Meanwhile, the surroundings of the Arab American University's campus in Beit Lahia in the besieged Gaza Strip was bombed by Israeli warplanes on Saturday in an offensive that left two Palestinian children dead.

He added that Israeli authorities inflict their own curriculum on several Palestinian schools and universities in occupied East Jerusalem in a deliberate attempt to bewilder Palestinian youth when it comes to their own heritage and national awareness.

Minister of Waqf and Religious Affairs in the Palestinian Authority Yousef Ideis also condemned Israel’s action, saying it is a part of a wider attack on Palestinian heritage in occupied East Jerusalem.

Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood was also home to the Shamasna family, a Palestinian family who were evicted from their home by Israel despite living there for 53 years.

In September, Israeli police evicted the Palestinian family from their home, making way for Israeli settlers who were deemed by authorities as the legal occupants.

East Jerusalem was occupied by Israel in 1967 and later annexed into Israel in the 1980s. Around 200,000 Israeli Jews now live in East Jerusalem in settlement homes considered illegal under international law.

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