Palestinian leaders slammed Israel on Thursday after undercover Border Police officers arrested a Palestinian student in a daylight raid at a Palestinian university near Ramallah on Wednesday.
Undercover forces arrested Omar Kiswani, the Hamas-affiliated chairman of the student council at Bir Zeit University, who “is suspected of being involved in terrorist activities,” Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.
“This latest incident is part of an ongoing policy in which Israel willfully targets and undermines academic freedoms in schools and universities and deprives our younger generations from exercising their right to education and achieving a brighter future free of military occupation, violence and oppression,” PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi said in a statement.
In a video of the arrest, plain-clothes police are seen forcibly escorting Kiswani off the university grounds, while other officers point handguns at students standing nearby.
Abdel Hakim Hanini, a founder of Hamas’s armed wing, said Kiswani’s arrest was “a criminal act” that Israel “carried out at the expense of our people.”
According to a Bir Zeit University statement, Israeli security forces have previously raided its campus and those of other Palestinian universities.
Responding to the Palestinian leaders’ criticisms, Rosenfeld said that the “undercover police units will go anywhere to arrest suspected terrorists.”