On March 9, 2022, three Palestinians were injured and dozens more suffered from respiratory issues after Israeli military forces raided the campus of the Palestine Technical University – Kadoorie during a memorial service that was being held there for Ammar Shafiq Abu Afifeh, a Palestinian who was shot by the Israeli military on March 1.
The university’s dean of student affairs told the Palestine Chronicle that Israeli forces gathered at the university’s main gate before storming in and firing tear gas canisters, stun grenades, and rubber bullets. Three individuals were struck and injured by rubber bullets while dozens, including students, suffered respiratory issues from tear gas. Some also reportedly lost consciousness due to tear gas inhalation.
Scholars at Risk is concerned by military forces entering campus space and violently dispersing students and others within that space for 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).