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December 16, 2021 Special Dispatch No. 9683

Defying Ban On Military Activity On Campus, Students At Palestinian Authority Birzeit University Hold Military Parades With Mock Rockets, Explosive Belts

December 16, 2021
Palestine | Special Dispatch No. 9683

In the past few days two military parades were held on the campus of Birzeit University in the West Bank, at which participants, wearing mock explosive belts and carrying mock rockets, called to continue the struggle against Israel. On December 13, 2021 the student organization of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) held a large-scale military parade to mark the 54th anniversary of the movement's founding, at which dozens of masked and uniformed activists marched on campus wearing mock explosive belts and carrying PFLP flags and emblems, mock rockets, and signs bearing the portraits of terrorists and terror leaders, including former PFLP leaders George Habash and Abu 'Ali Mustafa, Hamas founder Ahmad Yasin and Palestinian Islamic Jihad founder Fathi Shaqaqi.

A statement issued by the PFLP on the occasion of its 54th anniversary said: "It is necessary to adhere to the option and the plan of resistance, which has proved to be effective in the struggle against the Zionist enterprise and in uniting our Palestinian people everywhere, [including all] its national forces and parties, as was evident in the Sword of Jerusalem campaign [the May 2021 round of fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza]…"[1] 

On the following day, the Hamas student organization held a similar event on campus to mark the 34th anniversary of Hamas' founding. At the event, attended by dozens of masked activists, Hamas student leaders declared that they will remain loyal to the path of resistance.[2] Activists also saluted the "body parts scattered" in suicide bombings in Israeli cities, and praised Yahya 'Ayyash, a Birzeit graduate who was a cofounder of Hamas' military wing and one of the initiators of the policy of suicide bombings.

For  footage of the event, see the MEMRI TV clip below:

It should be mentioned that these events took place despite the ban passed by the university in 2019 against military-style activities and displays on campus. This ban led to a severe crisis between the university and the student organizations, which insisted on continuing these activities. During the recent PFLP parade university staff tried to seize the mock rockets, but without success, and during the Hamas event students broke into a lecture hall that had been locked. The Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, Fadel Al-Khalidi, explained that the university had banned all student activities on campus due to the Covid pandemic, but the PLFP and Hamas student organizations said this was only a pretext to ban their activities.[3] 

Below are images from the military parades held by the PFLP and Hamas on the Birzeit University campus.

PFLP Student Parade Marking Movement's 54th Anniversary:  Participants Give Nazi Salute, Carry Mock Explosive Belts, Mock Rockets

The following images from the PFLP parade were posted on the Telegram channel of the movement's military wing, the Shahid Abu 'Ali Mustafa Brigades, and on social media:


PFLP activists march on campus wearing uniforms and military vests (T.me/kataebabuali, December 13, 2021)


Masked PFLP activists (T.me/kataebabuali, December 13, 2021)


Parade participants with mock rockets, mock explosive belts (T.me/kataebabuali, Facebook.com/aysha.taweel.92, December 13, 2021)

Hamas Student Parade Marking Movement's 34th Anniversary:  Activists In Uniform; Children Carrying Weapons

The following images from the Hamas parade were posted on social media and on the movement's websites:


Hamas student parade on Birzeit University campus (kutla.ps, qudsn.net, December 14, 2021)


Hamas student parade: The sign, celebrating the Sword of Jerusalem campaign, shows rockets fired from Gaza at an Israeli city (kutla.ps, palinfo.com, December 14, 2021)


Hamas student parade: Child carrying toy rifle; portraits of terror leaders (Facebook.com/aysha.taweel.92, December 14, 2021)

 


[1] Pflp.ps, December 10, 2021.

[2] Qudsn.net, kutla.ps, December 14, 2021.

[3] Qudsn.net, December 15, 2021.

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