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Israel arrests Birzeit students due to ‘links’ with Hamas

May 4, 2018 at 11:24 am

Omar Al-Kiswani, a Palestinian student leader, is on hunger-strike in protest of his detention, torture and interrogation without charges [Sabeel Jerusalem/Twitter]

Israel arrested two Palestinian students during a raid on the occupied West Bank’s Birzeit University in March because they were receiving funds from Hamas, Israel’s Channel 7 reported Shin Bet saying yesterday.

Citing the Israeli intelligence agency, the channel reported that 24-year-old Omar Al-Kiswani from the village of Beit Eksa and 20-year-old Yahya Alawi had received hundreds of thousands of shekels from Palestinian prisoners deported to Gaza Strip and Turkey.

According to the agency, Al-Kiswani contacted Hamas activist and deportee to Gaza who was part of the Shalit deal, Yassin Rabie, and members of the movement in Turkey, and “asked them to cover Hamas activities at Birzeit University”.

As a result, he received €150,000 ($178,000).

On 7 March, an Israeli army commando group broke into Birzeit University in civilian clothes and arrested the students. Al-Kiswani began a hunger strike following his detention. Israel’s military court has renewed his incarceration on numerous occasions allegedly to allow time for the investigation surrounding his case to be completed.

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