Palestinian students detained and suspended from Hebrew University for singing traditional folk songs – Middle East Monitor
Two Palestinian students were arrested at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem by off-duty Israeli officers for singing traditional folk songs.
The students, Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem aged 19 and 20, were released after six hours of questioning on ‘suspicion of behavior likely to disturb the peace’, reports Stop.
Additionally, the students, who listened to and sang “Ala Dalouna,” a folk song about the olive harvest and the spring foods of Palestinian farmers, were suspended from campus for six days.
In a statement released yesterday, the Israeli non-profit organization, Ir Amim, said: “Yesterday at Hebrew University, two Palestinian students sat on campus and listened to music on the loudspeaker . Suddenly, a policeman came to them – who is not on duty, but a student at the University – and transferred them to the investigation. The students were released, but instructed not to come to campus for the next few days.
“Authorities like to show that over time the number of Palestinian students from Jerusalem studying at the Hebrew University is increasing, but the University’s generous response tells a different story,” the organization added.
READ: Church leaders denounce ‘illegal’ taking of property by ‘extremist’ settlers
According to Ha’aretz, Israeli soldiers used their cell phones to photograph the students before leading them to the police and confiscating their phones. University security officers were aware of the situation, but refused to intervene.
The students were asked about their political views, what they think of Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and whether they pray and fast during the month of Ramadan.
According to an Israel Police statement, officers studying at the university “notice two students singing a song in Arabic that includes lyrics in support of carrying out acts of terror.”
“The university should have stood behind its students and not allowed the police to enter the campus, as is the custom all over the world,” says Professor Daphna Golan of the University’s Law School. university.
“Also, it should be clear to police officers studying at the University that they cannot use their position to arrest students. Couldn’t they call security? Why was it necessary to arrest them on the campus? We have to stop assuming that because we don’t understand the lyrics, it’s an incentive song.”
Ir Amin also called on the University to support Palestinian students and announce unanimously that it does not receive wrongful arrests in the region.