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West Bank: Israeli forces storm Birzeit University, shoot and arrest students

Birzeit condemns the ‘blatant attack’ and calls for the protection of educational institutions
Israeli soldiers arresting students after storming Birzeit University (Screengrab)

At least one Palestinian student has been wounded by Israeli fire and four others were arrested as soldiers stormed Birzeit University near Ramallah on Monday.

A group of undercover Israeli agents, known as Mustarebeen, entered the university's campus from the northern gate and fired live bullets at the students, Birzeit University said in a statement posted on Facebook. 

The soldiers opened fire to keep students away as they made their arrests, wounding two people, according to Palestinians news agency Wafa. 

A video shared by local Palestinian media shows Ismail Barghouti, one of the arrested students, receiving treatment in a hospital after the raid. 

The other four students that were arrested are Qassam Nakhleh, Abdel Hafez Sharbati, Walid Harazneh and Muhammad al-Khatib, according to Wafa. They are active members of the university's student union.

Birzeit University condemned the “blatant attack” and called on international and human rights groups to protect educational institutions. It added that its lawyer is now working to learn the condition of the “kidnapped students”.

The Israeli army said in a brief statement that while carrying out an arrest of a “wanted Palestinian” in Birzeit, the man tried to escape “so the force shot him and wounded him".  

Several Palestinian groups have condemned the raid.  

Hamas said in a statement that the Israeli special forces "committed a new crime by infiltrating the Birzeit University campus and shooting the students".

"We strongly condemn the occupation forces' pursuit of the student union movement, the kidnapping of students, and the storming of universities," the group said. 

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PLFP) called the raid “a barbaric Israeli incursion” in a statement released to local media, and called for “the protection of students and academic institutions”.