Academia,  Hamas

Say NO to National Union of Students’ Support for Hamas

This is a cross-post from Stand For Peace.

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We condemn the National Union of Students executive committee for adopting Motion 411 ‘Freedom for Palestine ‘. While we support freedom for the Palestinian people, it is unacceptable for the NUS to forge connections with the Islamic University of Gaza given their links to the terror group Hamas, a murderous group that has only served to undermine any chance of peace in the region.

The Islamic University of Gaza has been used by Hamas to develop weapons for use against civilians, to hold political prisoners such as Cpl. Gilad Shalit, and to extort money from Western aid organisations and funds. As well as fuelling aggression towards Israel, the university has also been a centre for violence against civilians in Gaza. A number of media organisations have reported on the University’s production of weapons for use against Palestinian and Israeli civilians. The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center have also published a rebuttal to the UN report claiming that the University does not hide or develop weapons for use by Hamas. The teaching at the university stands accused of fostering anti-semitism. Hamas have previously taught holocaust denial to children.

That the IUG is dominated by Hamas is verified by a number of independent sources such as the BBC and PalPress. Hamas themselves have boasted about the way in which they effectively run the University. Hamas leader Khaled Mashal boasted of the group’s participation in building the IUG in 1978. Izz al-Din al-Qassam described the IUG as one of ‘our institutions’. As the ‘Palestinian Embassy UK’ proudly reported at the time of Hamas’s March 2011 Government reshuffle, ‘Many of the newly appointed members also hold positions at the Islamic University in Gaza’.

The motion has also resolved to send students on future flotillas into the Gaza region. Given the flotillas links with the Turkish Islamist charity, the Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (IHH) – itself linked to terrorist organisations – this is unacceptable, but most of all it is also irresponsible for the NUS to put students in a situation where they may be harmed.

The NUS should be used as a platform for political debate between students, and can use their resources to assist in the peace process however by adopting this motion it serves only to isolate Jewish students. According to their own research 31 per cent of Jewish respondents reported hate crime on their campuses, it’s unclear how the adoption of this motion will improve their situation.

[1] Palestinian sources:

According to a Palestine Press article, in 2008, Hamas began building tunnels in Gaza (to use as a smuggling). This article states that:

“The al-Qassams were digging tunnels from the Arafat police station that would lead to the Islamic University and another tunnel from the seat of government brigades in Gaza.” (The article is in Arabic but you can use Google translate if need be)

[2] “Fatah took control of the Islamic University in Gaza City and captured several Iranian weapons experts, the BBC reported. The Iranians had allegedly trained Hamas in military matters, Israeli daily Haaretz reported in its online edition citing Fatah sources.

A cache of more than 1,400 weapons and rockets had also been discovered at the university, CNN reported.”

[3] Hamas admits it:

“Hamas itself has corroborated these ties. In a 2003 interview in the pan-Arab daily al-Hayat, Hamas leader Khaled Mashal boasted of the group’s participation in building the IUG in 1978. And according to FBI surveillance of a 1993 Hamas meeting in Philadelphia, Muin Kamel Muhammad Shabib, a member of the organization’s Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, briefed attendees on “the situation in Palestine” and the status of “Islamic works” tied to Hamas, naming the IUG as one of “our institutions.”

[4] From 2007:

“Kidnapped soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit spent most of his time in captivity imprisoned on the campus of the Islamic University in Gaza, said senior Palestinian sources on Monday.

….Fatah’s Force 17 raided the university campus, confiscating some 2,000 AK-47 assault rifles, hundreds of RPG launchers and massive amounts of ammunition. Fatah troops also uncovered a tunnel opening leading all the way to the Palestinian Police headquarters in Gaza City. Estimates suggest Hamas had intended to fill the tunnel with explosives and destroy the police building.”,7340,L-3361595,00.html

[5] Even the BBC accepts it: “Al-Azhar University is dominated by Fatah and the Islamic University – by Hamas.”

[6] More links here: