November 28, 2015 | Meta Peace Team,Phoenix Jones| Occupied Tulkarm, Palestine Technical University
Phoenix Jones, is from Detroit, MI. She came to Palestine on behalf of the Meta Peace Team. Meta Peace Team (MPT) seeks a just world grounded in nonviolence and respect for the sacred interconnectedness of all life. MPT works with communities to promote nonviolence. We provide protective accompaniment and intervention to prevent / reduce violence, observation / witness, documentation / reporting, and direct action. We share facts and stories to educate people in the USA, about the occupation in Palestine. Our teams rotate throughout the year, coordinated from our home office in Michigan (USA). To follow MPT Palestine Blogg, please go to mptinpalestine.blogspot.com
Palestinian Technical University, located in occupied Tulkarm in the northern West Bank, has been actively under attack everyday since October of this year. During this time 24 students have been arrested (without being charged and will spend at least 6 months in prison) and over 400 students injured from live ammunition, rubber bullets, rubber coated steel bullets, and tear gas. The University has contacted the Israeli Military several times to request an explanation for the attacks, but none has been given. On Sunday, November 29, 2015 58 students were injured because of tear gas, 7 injured by live bullets, 5 injured by steel rubber coated bullets, 9-10 rubber bullet, and 1 person is in the intensive care unite in Nablus (live bullet pierced his arm and went into his chest). All students injured are between the ages of 15 and 20.
The University request that United States’ Universities use their platform to publicize what Palestine Technical University in Tulkarm is suffering from. They ask that the Universities lobby the government on their behalf. Students would also appreciate the support of universities in developing student exchange programs.
Palestinian Technical University was established in 1903, and became a University in 2007. Currently the University serves 6,300 students. When the apartheid wall was built in 2000, 200 dunam of the University’s property was taken away from the agricultural college, leaving them with 50-55 dunam for green houses, veterinarian program, vegetable crop, olive and fruit orchard, and aquaculture.
The military berm was built originally in 1997, on land stolen from the university when the Israeli apartheid wall was built, the berm was abandon. 3-4 weeks ago the University attempted to level the berm (because the facility has been abandoned for so long), but the bulldozer was confiscated by the military (bulldozer has currently not been returned). The University Vice – President was detained and threatened to be arrested, while on University property.
Two students give a first hand account of the first time the military attacked the school in October (both students wish to remain anonymous because of fear of being arrested for speaking out against Israeli military)
Second year student, studying information science at the PTU recalls
“The first time the military get into the university, we have the first exams. All the exams were canceled. Everyday they were throwing the gases so the students were afraid to come to the university. For the students that were shot, and the other who were arrested it made their education hard because they are unable to move on to the next year, they will be forced to repeat the current year. Just like them if I smell the gases or get arrested it’s going to be bad for my educational career. The same building that we are having the exam or lecture, there is gunshot or a gas bomb. We hope that the American people and other countries don’t support Israel, in any way.”
21 year old Electrical Engineer student recalls
“I remember the first time the army was in Kadoorie. At first they started at the outside land. They were making shots in the air. They were shooting live bullets at the students. They started to get inside the university more and more. They throw the skunk water on the library. There were students being hurt by the bullets. So many students were shot. It affects our psychology, we became more afraid. When we were doing our exams we hear the sound of the bullets and smelling the gas. It became normal to our body to smell the gas. We hope the American people do not support the Israelis.”
4 years ago PTU began planning for the Olive Oil International conference, they invited 26 critical experts to deliver speeches to over 400 participants. Two months prior to conference the university began checking on the status of the travel permits. Each time they called the office, they were told to wait another week. One day before the conference date, the Israeli travel visa office contacted the University, denying all 21 guest travel visa’s to Tulkarm. Most of the experts lived only an hour away.
Below is a link to video of Israeli Military invading the campus of Palestinian Technical University, on Tuesday November 24.
For more information on how to support PTU please contact :
Mr. Azmi Saleh | +970-92-688199 | firstname.lastname@example.org | email@example.com
Omar Jouda | firstname.lastname@example.org