Palestinian studentÂ Ola Marshoud, 21, from the Balata refugee camp in Nablus, wasÂ sentenced to seven monthsÂ in Israeli prison by the Salem military court on Monday, 30 July, for her involvement in student activism on the An-Najah University campus. Marshoud has been detained since March, when she was summoned to interrogation at the military base near Huwwara. When she arrived, she was transferred the interrogation center at Petah Tikva.
She was accused in the military court of involvement in student organizing at An-Najah University. Active Palestinians involved in the student movement are repeatedly targeted for Israeli arrest, imprisonment and persecution, includingÂ Omar Kiswani, the student body president at Bir Zeit University. Statistics indicate that there are over 300 Palestinian university students imprisoned in Israeli jails.
This policy of colonial military repression of student activism is continuing; in the pre-dawn hours of Monday, 30 July, a number of families in al-Khalil reported thatÂ armed occupation forces posted noticesÂ on the walls of the area, particularly the homes of female students, threatening them against participating in student elections and activism with the Islamic Bloc on their campuses. Several young womenâ€™s family homes were raided and letters presented to their parents by occupation soldiers accusing them of participating in â€śillegal activitiesâ€ť through student activism.
One such letter, directed at studentsâ€™ parents from Israeli occupation intelligence, said: â€śIf you get this message, it means that you are the parents of one of the activists of the Islamic bloc, which is an illegal activity. We alert you that any such involvement may lead to the arrest of your daughter, damaging her academic life and future, wasting your money and causing concern and indignation in the hearts of your family. We turn to you to follow up on the activities of your daughter and lead her away from such actions. You have been warned of the consequences.â€ť
Chris Carlson is a student of religion at Mount Mercy University, United States, and has been a regular volunteer with the IMEMC since 2013. He assisted in providing extensive coverage of the 2014 Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip and continues, into the present day, with the issues at hand. He can be reached via email at c h r i s @ i m e m c . o r g.