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Israel closes Palestinian educational institutions in Hebron

Israeli military forces yesterday evening (Tuesday, January 14) issued a military order to close two educational institutions in Hebron, Hebron University, and the Palestinian Polytechnic for fourteen days, renewable for up to six months, for 'security' reasons.
According to information gathered by LAW, Israeli forces this morning (Wednesday) surrounded Hebron University's buildings, north-west of the city, and the Polytechnic in the 'Ein Khair al-Deen area in the center of the city, both to the north-west; and sealed its doors, denying Palestinian students their right to education.

Doctor Khalqi Khanfar, dean of Hebron University told LAW that at around 11pm Tuesday, while he was in his house, an Israeli general who gave his name as "Eitan" from the so-called "civil administration" and a number of soldiers came to his home and handed him an order signed by the head of the Israeli army in the West Bank, Moshe Kaplinski, dated Monday, January 12, 2003. The order demanded the closure of the University for 14 days. In the order, [LAW quotes], was also the following: "I think that during these fourteen days I shall issue an additional order to close the institution for a period of six months from the day this order is dated."

The order was given on the basis that "in the above mentioned institution, illegal activities have taken place, and opening the institution may result in a threat to the region, and to the security of the defense army, and to the general public."

Daoud al-Zatari, dean of the Palestinian Polytechnic, that he received a similar order at around 12:30 at night.

LAW - The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment is a non-governmental organization dedicated to preserving human rights through legal advocacy. LAW is affiliate to the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), and the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT).

LAW - The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment, PO Box 20873, Jerusalem, tel. +972-2-5833530, fax. +972-2- 5833317,,