Palestine: Right to Education Campaign at Birzeit University
- Greetings from the Right to Education Campaign at Birzeit University
October - November 2005
Right2edu @ birzeit.edu
Right to Education Bulletin #5
Birzeit University student, Walid Hanatche, has been arbitrarily
imprisoned without charge or trial for the last three-and-a-half
years, on the basis of an administrative order. We would like to
thank everyone who has written to the Israeli military authorities in
response to our appeal last month, calling for Walid's immediate and
unconditional release. Amnesty International has also taken on
Walid's case, demanding that he be either charged or released, and
condemning the attempts by the Israeli authorities to pressure Walid
to accept deportation or remain in administrative detention
Unfortunately, despite growing international pressure, the Israeli
military court renewed Walid's detention order for a further three
months. Walid's lawyer is appealing against the decision and has told
the Right to Education Campaign that it is crucial that we maintain
the pressure on the Israeli military authorities during this period,
so please continue to send your letters to the Israeli Army Legal
Advisor and the Chief Military Attorney
The growing education crisis in occupied East Jerusalem is reaching
new proportions as the construction of Israel's illegal Wall cuts
through more Palestinian areas. An estimated 52% of teachers and 22%
of students at schools in East Jerusalem hold West Bank identity cards
and are now being denied access to their schools by the occupation
authorities. In a letter to UNESCO, over 30 prominent Palestinian
civil society organizations urgently called on "the guardian of
education around the world to take action"
Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education and the
Ministry of State for Jerusalem Affairs are also appealing for action
from the international community to address "the dire constraints
placed on Palestinian students and teachers' access to schools and
universities due to the adverse impact of Israel's Wall in occupied
Finally, we are encouraged by the efforts of university student unions
around the world to publicly stand beside Palestinian students under
occupation. Most recently, Stirling University and Edinburgh
University in Scotland have won landslide votes in their student
unions to support the Right to Education Campaign. If you belong to a
university, trade union or any other movement or organization, please
join us and help build an international coalition of organizations to
collectively campaign in support of Palestinian students, teachers and
the right to education in Palestine. Please see the Campaign's
International Call to Action and the Sample Motion to affiliate to the
Right to Education Campaign.
This bulletin is divided into 3 sections: 'News and Updates', 'Calls
to Action' and 'How you Can Support the Right to Education Campaign'.
It includes links to recent key articles on the Right to Education
website http://right2edu.birzeit.edu and ideas for action.
Raise awareness Screen the Campaign's film!
"A Caged Bird's Song", follows Palestinian students in their daily
struggle to reach school and university. The Right to Education
Campaign has recently released a new version of the film, in Arabic
with English, French and Spanish subtitles (30 minutes). Copies of
the film available online at www.PalestineOnlineStore.com.
1. News and Updates
Israeli Army Harassment of Students on their Way to University
Right to Education Campaign, 7 November 2005
Today, four Birzeit University students face interrogation at the
Israeli military base, Ofer, near Ramallah in the West Bank. The four
students were pulled out of a taxi and instructed by soldiers to wait
at the side of the road. They were not given any reason why, and after
waiting for four hours the students were told that they must come back
for a 'meeting' with Israeli soldiers at Ofer military base on Monday
7 November. Israeli Army jeeps and soldiers frequently block the road
from Ramallah to Birzeit on an arbitrary basis. Traffic is brought to
a total standstill and soldiers harass and prevent students and
teachers trying to reach the University.
Trend Analysis: "Education Under Occupation: Disruptions to
Palestinian Education Stemming From Israeli Military and Settler Activity"
Palestine Monitoring Group (PMG), 30 October 2005
A new report by the Palestine Monitoring Group examines disruptions to
Palestinian education stemming from Israeli military and settler
activity and highlights the fact that the Palestinian educational
process is deliberately targeted.
Launch of Public Outreach Campaign for Education in East Jerusalem
Palestinian Ministry of State for Jerusalem Affairs, 26 October 2005
The Ministry of State for Jerusalem Affairs has launched a public
outreach campaign to address the dire constraints placed on
Palestinian students and teachers' access to schools and universities
due to the adverse impact of Israel's Wall in Occupied East Jerusalem.
Such measures are an indication of Israel's intention to annex
Occupied East Jerusalem, tearing the socio-economic fabric that
sustains Palestinian livelihoods and effectively jeopardizing the
viability of a two state solution.
Amnesty International Appeals for Birzeit Student Walid Hanatche
Amnesty International, 21 October 2005
Birzeit University student, Walid Hanatche, has been detained without
charge or trial since May 2002. He has been put under pressure by the
Israeli authorities to accept deportation to an unspecified country or
face the possibility of remaining in administrative detention
indefinitely. Amnesty International is concerned that the Israeli
authorities intend to use this as a test case, and that if they
succeed in deporting Walid Hanatche they may deport more Palestinians.
Stirling University Students Landslide Vote Against Israeli Crimes
Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, 19 October 2005
Stirling University students voted yesterday in a referendum to
support the Palestinians' struggle for their right to education. The
votes were 347 FOR, and 88 AGAINST, a margin of almost 4:1 which
reflects the growing commitment to solidarity with Palestine among
Scottish students. Stirling University Students Association will now
twin with the students council in Birzeit University and pressure the
University to twin. It also publicly condemns the occupation, wall and
Letter to UNESCO on Education Crisis in East Jerusalem
Coalition for Jerusalem, 13 October 2005
"We, the Palestinian educational institutions, Palestinian Non
Governmental Organizations, Civil Society Organizations and Religious
Dignitaries in Occupied East Jerusalem are writing to you to draw your
attention to the disastrous implications of Israel's policies on the
education sector in Occupied East Jerusalem. By constructing the
illegal Apartheid Wall in and around Occupied East Jerusalem, imposing
severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinians in and out of
Occupied East Jerusalem, and building and expanding Jewish colonies in
Occupied East Jerusalem, Israel is succeeding in its aim to isolate
Jerusalem from the rest of the occupied Palestinian territories in
order to consolidate its illegal annexation of East Jerusalem. These
measures and their continuation will ensure that the Palestinian
education sector in Occupied East Jerusalem will collapse,
jeopardizing the education and future of Palestinian children."
Open Letter to Hina Jilani, Special Representative of the Secretary
General, on the Targeting of Palestinian Students and Educational
Institutions by the Israeli Occupation
Right to Education Campaign, 7 October 2005
We would like to take the opportunity of your visit to the occupied
Palestinian territory (oPt), to draw your attention to the human
rights issues facing Palestinian students in pursuing their higher
education. Students are one of the most targeted groups under the
Israeli military occupation. As is the case around the world,
particularly in countries engaged in national struggle, students are
often at the forefront of movements for social and political change.
Furthermore, the ongoing targeting of educational institutions in the
oPt impedes the development of Palestinian society as a whole.
Israeli Colony Seizes School Grounds
Al Jazeera, 6 October 2005
Palestinian schoolboys in a Jerusalem suburb have lost their football
pitch and volleyball court to a giant cement wall Israel has built
through their playground. http://right2edu.birzeit.edu/news/article325
"Education is Freedom"
Helen Murray, Adalah Newsletter, 5 October 2005
When the Israeli military authorities closed down Birzeit University
for nearly five years between 1987 and 1992, along with all other
Palestinian educational institutions, including schools and
kindergartens, the University community refused to accept the
criminalization of education and continued to hold classes
'underground' in homes, offices, churches, mosques and community
centers. These classes were frequently raided by the Israeli Army and
any students and teachers found in attendance were arrested. In
defiance of military rule, the very act of pursuing an education
became a way of directly challenging the occupation.
I Don't Remind You of Anyone
Nagham F. Awadallah, 1 October 2005
A student of English Literature and Translation at Birzeit University,
Nagham Awadallah reflects on her identity and expresses why "a
person's humanity should be the sole basis on which he or she is
perceived. Humanity should come first in interactions, whereas
ethnicity, religion, color, language shouldn't be an excuse or a
reason for negative or prejudiced interactions. The actions of some
who belong to a certain ethnicity, religion, or color shouldn't be
generalized to the whole. Collective punishment is not the answer."
Panic in Schools and Kindergartens in Gaza
Wisam Afifeh, Palestine News Network, 29 September 2005
In the weeks after the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, frequent Israeli
air raids over the Gaza Strip detonated deafening sonic booms by
breaking the sound barrier at all times of the day and night.
Speaking out against the raids, Dr. Saraj, Director of the Gaza
Community Mental Health Program, described the "devastating effects,
especially on the children, and these effects are spreading into panic
attacks and group panic in elementary schools and kindergartens."
2. Calls to Action
Demand the Release of Birzeit University Student Walid Hanatche
Right to Education Campaign
Walid Hanatche, M.A. student in Economics at Birzeit University in the
occupied West Bank, has been arbitrarily imprisoned without charge or
trial for the last three-and-a-half years. We need your help to put an
end to this gross violation of Walid's fundamental human rights and
allow him to return to his family, his life and his studies, by
writing to the Israeli military authorities to demand his immediate
Israeli Assault on Palestinian Education in Jerusalem and other
Occupied Areas Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education,
15 September 2005
Israeli attacks on Palestinian social and educational institutions
continue in violation of international law. The occupation's
restrictions on movement, and the land grabbing Separation Wall,
prevent school children from reaching their schools and disrupt their
daily life. The Israeli military continues to target school children,
teachers and administrators through its policies of collective
punishment. The Ministry of Education and Higher Education strongly
urges the international community to investigate the conditions of
education under occupation and to intervene to ensure that children
and teachers can exercise their right to reach their schools safely
and freely. http://right2edu.birzeit.edu/news/article321
3. How You Can Support the Right to Education Campaign
New! Screen the Campaign film "A Caged Bird's Song" (Arabic with
English, French and Spanish subtitles) Help raise awareness by
screening the Right to Education Campaign film, "A Caged Bird's Song",
which follows Palestinian students in their daily struggle to reach
their schools and universities. The Campaign has
released a new version of the film, in Arabic with English, French and
Spanish subtitles. Copies of the film are available online at
1. Affiliate to the Right to Education Campaign at Birzeit
University through your union or organization.
2. Raise awareness within your constituency about the issues
facing Palestinian education, students and teachers under Israeli
Screen the Campaign film, "A Caged Bird's Song" (copies available
Organize an action on campus. For example, set up a 'checkpoint',
stopping students and faculty on their way to classes, demanding to
see their student and staff IDs and raising awareness about the issues
facing Palestinian students under occupation.
If you are a student group, set up a correspondence with Birzeit
University students, through email, instant messenger and video
3. Support the Right to Education Campaign's calls for
international action against violations of the human right to
education in occupied Palestine.
4. Lobby your government to pressure the government of Israel to
adhere to its legal obligations to end attacks on civilian
infrastructure and to allow unimpeded access for all Palestinians to
their educational institutions.
5. Establish connections with Palestinian universities, students
and faculty, through solidarity links or academic exchange.
6. Start or join divestment campaigns at your university.
7. Organize a delegation to visit Birzeit and other universities
in Palestine, or help to organize a delegation of Palestinian students
and faculty to come on a speaking tour to universities and
organizations in your country.
8. Support a student at Birzeit University through a "Seeds of
The Right to Education Campaign was set up by Birzeit University to
reach out to students, teachers and campaigners worldwide to support
the right to education in Palestine.
mohammad - palestine
Writing Letter to INTEL
I just wanted to quickly report that we are getting a very strong
response to the Intel alert we sent out yesterday based on the number
of letters cc'ed to alerts @ al-awda.org. I wanted to ask everyone
subscribed here not to forget to send your letters in as well if you
have not done so already. Please remember to send a copy of your
correspondence to alerts @ al-awda.org
The text of the alert is posted at
As a suggestion, the letter i sent:
Dear, Craig R Barret, Chairman of the Board, INTEL,
Dear Paul Otelline, President and CEO, INTEL,
I find it completely worrying that INTEL plans to invest for expansion
on land confiscated from the Palestinian village of Iraq Al-Manshiya,
as it is clearly documented by Israeli historian Benny Morris.
I therefore demand from INTEL that:
* Intel abandon its investments in Israel, as Israel forced out the
original inhabitants of Iraq Al-Manshiya and the nearby village of
Al-Faluja after the 1948 war ended contrary to international law and
an armistice agreement sponsored by the UN and which Israel signed.
* Intel not participate and allow Israel to have economic benefits
from the illegal dispossession of Palestinians. Israel is denying
Palestinian refugees their right to return to their lands and homes
which it is occupying. This natural and inalienable right is enshrined
in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Law,
and is supported by numerous UN resolutions.
On the other hand, Intel has far more attractive long-term options for
building and expanding in other countries. These options serve Intel's
customers, shareholders and employees in far more productive and
Enrique Ferro, Brussels, Belgium.
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