Hundreds held in crackdown on Palestinian students
Friday 29 March 1996
The arrests started at 4am yesterday when large contingents of Israeli security forces moved into the hill-top town of Bir Zeit, north of Jerusalem, and two nearby villages. Loudspeakers announced that the town was under curfew as teams of soldiers entered student houses and apartment buildings. Students and others detained were held in a playing field in the nearby village of Jifna.
Israeli radio said that 370 Palestinians had been detained. The army said that the aim was to arrest suspected guerrillas, confiscate weapons and "round up and return home Palestinians who were staying in these areas illegally". This refers to students from Gaza attending Bir Zeit, though the university says only half the students detained come from there.
The mass round-up will further alienate Palestinians on the West Bank who feel that the limited gains they made through the Oslo accords are being steadily eroded. In addition to the clamp-down by Israel, the Palestinian Authority has arrested at least 700 suspected members of Hamas or Islamic Jihad according to Amnesty International.
In the wake of the four suicide bombings which killed 62 people in Israel, Israeli security forces have moved back into the 465 villages from which they had largely departed.
The blowing up of the houses of the families of those alleged to be involved in suicide bombing and other high profile gestures appear to be aimed at impressing the Israeli electorate with the government's tough stance on security in the lead up to the election on 29 May.
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 4 Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
Asteroid narrowly scrapes past Earth: how to watch the closest space rock for decades as it flies by
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Greece elections: Greek PM Alexis Tsipras takes aim at 'neo-liberal' Europe as country gears up for prolonged austerity battle
Pornhub star Mia Khalifa receives death threats after being ranked the site's top adult actress
Prince Philip set to be knighted by Australia: Celebrate by reading his greatest gaffes
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
30,000 reasons why the rhetoric on immigrants claiming benefits can stop now
£38000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's best performing...
£35000 - £43000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our award-winning client is one...
£15000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of Atlas ...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Opportunity to join established...