On March 6, 2022, clashes broke out between Israeli soldiers and a group of Palestinian students from the Al Arroub campus of the Palestine Technical University who were holding a protest march near the campus. Israeli soldiers reportedly used tear gas and fired live bullets, with at least one striking and injuring a 19-year-old protester.
The students had gathered in the afternoon to protest Israeli authorities’ targeting of and violations against Palestinian students and to condemn the killing of Ammar Shafiq Abu Afifeh the week prior. Following the clashes, Sama News reported that the soldiers proceeded to storm and close the campus.
Scholars at Risk is concerned by security forces using force to disperse students exercising their rights to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly – conduct which is protected by international human rights instruments, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Israel is a party. Governing authorities must refrain from taking action to restrict or chill such conduct as long as it is peaceful and responsible. In addition to harm to the immediate victims, campus raids and the unnecessary use of violence in response to peaceful expressive activity undermine academic freedom and democratic society generally.
*SAR identified this incident in data made publicly available by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED).