Islamist students at Najah University in the occupied West Bank have said that they will boycott the Student Council election because the Palestinian Authority security forces control the university and have detained a large number of the bloc’s supporters. The Islamists have called upon other students in the city of Nablus to support their action and described the election as “cosmetic”.
In a statement issued on 3rd November, the bloc said, “The security apparatuses in the West Bank [insist] on diverting our university from its role in graduating generations ready to resist the Occupier and preserve Palestinian fundamentals. They do so by imposing a state of terror, by marginalising the other, and by banning freedom. Warning bells are ringing for the whole Palestinian national movement… to get back to resisting the Occupation and those who support it.”
The Islamist students accuse the Fatah-controlled PA of a series of arrests, terror and intimidation, challenging attempts at national reconciliation. The statement added that “Hamas aims to achieve reconciliation in order to protect basic Palestinian rights”.
In calling upon human rights organisations to lend their support, the statement pointed out that those arrested include lecturers at the university. Holding student activists in detention, it said, shows that Fatah intends to manipulate the election so that it can control the Student Council for another year.