Israelis disguised as journalists shoot and then kidnap Palestinian students

Undercover agents from Israel’s Border Police stormed the Birzeit University campus in the occupied West Bank disguised as journalists on Wednesday.

They beat and arrested Omar Kiswani, the head of the student council.

The university said Wednesday night that two students were injured by Israeli gunfire during the incursion and were being treated at the hospital.

Birzeit University condemned what it called a “barbaric intrusion.”

It said the assault was part and parcel of Israel’s “systematic destruction of Palestinian educational life by targeting academic institutions.”

During the incident, according to the university, students and campus guards confronted the occupation forces, but the Israeli soldiers confined the guards to their quarters.

Earlier, the university posted the video above on YouTube showing several Israeli gunmen beating and kicking Kiswani and brandishing their guns at other students.

The university also tweeted the video, stating that it shows “Israeli forces kidnap university student, fire shots on campus in broad daylight.”

The undercover Israeli agents – so-called mistaravim – dress up as Palestinians to abductinjure and infiltrate groups of civilians, often during protests against Israel’s military occupation.

Israel has even used mistaravim to kidnap and kill Palestinians inside hospitals.

The gunmen arrived at the university near Ramallah in a bus with Palestinian license plates, dressed in civilian clothes and carrying press equipment, witnesses told Shehab News Agency.

“They identified Omar and called over to him as if they wanted to interview him as journalists,” Yahya Alawi, a member of the student council who witnessed the assault, told Quds News Network.

“They beat him, pulled out their weapons, and a large group of occupation soldiers stormed through the main entrance of the university.”

Israeli forces then fired several shots at a group of students who were responding to the invasion of the campus by throwing stones.

Alawi added that Kiswani was arrested right outside the student council building.

Kiswani is a member of a bloc aligned with the Hamas party which has repeatedly won closely watched student council elections at Birzeit.

Kiswani told media in 2015 that he and fellow activists have been detained by Palestinian Authority security forces and interrogated about their political activities.

The Israeli journalists union condemned the Israeli forces for disguising themselves as journalists, saying that doing so endangered real reporters out in the field doing their work.

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