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Calls for solidarity actions to free Palestinian students detained after being shot by Israeli forces

AN appeal for international solidarity has been issued after Israeli forces arrested five Palestinian student leaders on the Birzeit University campus on the West Bank on Monday.

Special forces troops stormed the campus while undercover units opened fire on Palestinian students with live ammunition after arriving at the university in disguise and driving a delivery van onto the campus.

Islamic Bloc co-ordinator Ismail Barghouthi, Student Unity Bloc co-ordinator Waleed Harazneh, Progressive Student Union co-ordinator Abdel-Hafez Sharabati, Mohammed Khatib of the Progressive Democratic Student Pole and Qassem Nakhleh, also of the Islamic Bloc, were then pushed to the ground and detained.

Mr Barghouthi was hospitalised after being shot in the thigh and Mr Nakhleh and Mr Sharabati were also injured.

They were on their way to meet the workers’ union at Birzeit University to discuss the ongoing protests against “security co-ordination” between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and calls for action when the Israeli forces swooped. 

Mr Sharabati and Mr Harazneh were released on Monday evening, but the others remain in custody.

The Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network called for urgent solidarity actions to free detainees, including hundreds of students, held in Israeli prisons.

Israeli occupation authorities regularly target Birzeit students, with 55 arrested last year alone.

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