The Arabs48 news website reported on Wednesday that three Arab students, studying at the Engineering Academy in occupied Jerusalem, have received police warrants exiling them from the city for seven days after they called for a boycott of a speech by Israeli President, Shimon Peres.The students, Khalil Gharra from Jit, Rafat Shaban from Majd Al Koroum, and a third student who remained unidentified due to the ongoing investigation, were forced out of Jerusalem.
They were sent to court on Wednesday and the judge decided to release them under exile until January 25, and sentenced them to house arrest under the condition that they do not communicate with other students.
The issue in question started after the college invited Peres to give a lecture; some of the Arab students then wrote on their Facebook pages that they will not attend the lecture, and expressed their rejection to the college’s decision to urge students to attend.
Representing the students, Attorney Alaa’ Mahajna told the Arabs48 news website that some Israeli media outlets exaggerated in their reporting on the issue, and added that all student groups have the right to express their opinions by calling for the boycott of any program or official.
He also said that there are talks and discussions of boycott in Israel itself, and that prosecuting the students is a direct violation to their freedom of expression. It is worth mentioning that all Arab students boycotted the lecture by President Peres.
Israel has been recently debating and passing laws that criminalize calls for the boycott of Israeli settlement products and Israel officials, due to Israel’s illegal occupation in Palestine.